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[Chron] Morey likes options despite late selection

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by theREALDEALkid, Jun 26, 2008.

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  1. theREALDEALkid

    Jan 5, 2008
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    For weeks, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey spoke of the grim probabilities and the odds stacked against a player taken as late in the NBA draft as Houston's pick will be tonight.

    With the 25th selection, Morey lived those realities with each day's studies of draft prospects.

    Then, on the eve of the draft, he found optimism.

    "We're most focused on two things: Get an impact player in the draft if we can do it, whether it be now or in the future. And two, how do we get better next year?" Morey said. "How does this pick fit into that?

    "We do think there are pretty good players at 25."

    Those players can come in many forms, from the long-term high-reward projects to some of the few college seniors expected to go in the first round. But Morey said he is "seriously considering about seven (players), three to four we think will be gone, three we think will be there."

    Brandon Rush and Donte Greene are expected to be gone, but Courtney Lee could slip just enough, or Chris Douglas-Roberts could be a safe pick. Robin Lopez, Marreese Speights, Roy Hibbert, DeAndre Jordan and Kosta Koufos are expected to be taken before the Rockets' time on the clock. But if the Rockets want to go big, they could choose Ryan Anderson or Jason Thompson.

    Player could be a project
    This year, however, there is another option the Rockets did not seek in recent drafts.

    If they're not happy with the way the draft unfolds before they pick, the Rockets might choose to take a project with far more potential than is normally available in the last picks of the first round. France's Nicolas Batum, the Congo's Serge Ibaka and Australia's Nathan Jawai are players considered to have outstanding potential for teams willing to wait for it to develop.

    For two years, the Rockets spent draft night working on their roster. They used a 2006 first-round pick to plug Shane Battier into their starting lineup. Last season, they picked up Aaron Brooks and Carl Landry, players they consider long-term parts of their rotation.

    With a crowded roster — they have 11 players signed, with two more (Dikembe Mutombo and Landry) expected to sign and two more (Mike Harris and Loren Woods) with non-guaranteed contracts — the Rockets are more open to taking a long-range, large-upside type of prospect.

    "If the high upside is really up, you might say that's worth the gamble no matter what," Morey said. "If they have a pretty good upside but the hit rate is really low, and the alternative is you've got a guy you think can contribute earlier but is still a pick for the future, in a sense he does both, you might go that route. You judge those factors. There is no exact right answer.

    "We're not staring at the needs we had at the four last year, for example. It does give you a little more chance to look at the future."

    Still, the Rockets seem more likely to be targeting more predictable prospects, dependent on the selections before them. This draft is expected to be particularly eventful, with much of the talk leading to tonight centered on a potential shakeup of the top 10.

    Movement predicted
    As expected, Miami has considered Michael Beasley but also has weighed moving the pick. Minnesota could take Kevin Love third or move back to take him. Memphis (No. 5), New York (No. 6) and New Jersey (No. 10) all have been heavily involved in trade talks.

    Morey said it is highly unlikely any team in the last third of the draft could move up to the top 10 but said that for the third consecutive season, the Rockets have tried to move up a few spots to improve their chances at targeted players.

    He said he also is open to moving back, given the depth of the draft.

    "I think there will probably be a lot of movement," Morey said. "I think the draft has a pretty shallow dropoff late first and into the second round.

    "Overall, we view this pick as someone who is going to help us over time versus next year. Last year was unique to have three rookies come in and play minutes and contribute on a Western Conference playoff team. If we can do that again, that would be great."

    It is unlikely. But as the draft drew close, Morey was ready to consider it possible.

  2. RedRowdy111

    RedRowdy111 Contributing Member

    Aug 26, 2006
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    good find, thanks kid!
  3. Clutch

    Clutch Administrator
    Staff Member

    Feb 13, 1999
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    link please.
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