Underwhelmed by the Rockets returns in these deadline trades? Well, shame on you, mister. You should never question Daryl Morey. Or so says SB Nation basketball editor Tom Ziller, who dubbed the Rockets one of the deadline’s winners
There’s been substantial backlash against Houston GM Daryl Morey over the past year or so, given his lofty status among some analysts but his team’s lack of success. And he’ll get more today: With some quality moves, Houston could have made a run at the last playoff spot in the West. Instead, they’ll continue to score 120 points every other night, and either give up 115 or 125. Shane Battier was the team’s best defender, and they traded him for a pick (which will be useful in the future, but obviously not right now) and Hasheem Thabeet, a player who won’t sniff the rotation under Rick Adelman. They traded Aaron Brooks, who will be a restricted free agent, for Goran Dragic and a first-round pick — there’s another pick — but that’s not making the team much better right now. But look at the plan — acquire picks and prospects for free agents — and look at the results from the superstar trades this week. Why did ‘Melo to the Knicks take so long? Because the Nuggets demanded more picks or prospects. Why did the Nuggets favor the Nets’ offer? More picks, more prospects. The Rockets now have four firsts in the next two drafts, plus Dragic, plus Thabeet. It’s something.
Clearly now the stage is set to chase Dwight Howard, right? Right?!?! Tom?!?!
In general I agree that the backlash against Morey is a bit annoying, but while these trades added some decent assets to the cupboard, it’s hard to go bananas over a bunch of decent assets. Ziller’s right that teams are making these deals with assets, but the Nets trade for Deron Williams included two likely lottery picks, Derrick Favors, and Devin Harris. How many of the assets the Rockets picked up yesterday are on par with anyone in that return?
Morey did the best that he could, but it’s going to take some more Jedi mind tricks for this team to acquire it’s superstar.