Rockets: The Evolution Of Daryl Morey

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Sep 29, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey poses for a photo during media day at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Author’s Note: We need to get better pictures of this man. 

Daryl Morey has been the GM of the Houston Rockets since 2006. In that span, not counting lockout years, he has provided his coaches a roster that has won 50 or more games, per season, in five out of eight eligible years. He inherited a cap-strapped team anchored by Tracy McGrady and what would become the husk of Yao Ming.

Fast forward to just three short years ago.

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It was October 27th, the night before my birthday, I get a text from a buddy saying “OH MY GOD, IT’S HAPPENING!” I check the news since we both wrote for another Rockets outfit at the time. Sure enough, the Houston Rockets traded Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin, and a lottery guaranteed pick for James Harden. The same team that drafted Royce White as a “swing for the fences” move just scored Oklahoma City’s X-Factor. I was thrilled and was wondering what the future of the Rockets would become.

I was against trading for Howard during his discontented years in Orlando. The year after we traded for James Harden I was glued to the news around Howard. I wanted a big man after witnessing Harden’s first year in Houston as a run and gun efficiency monster. I wanted him to have an anchor. I didn’t care just how Howard would fit with Omer Asik. Houston had jettisoned enough contracts to swing a deal and the reality was he was going to use it.

The smear of offseason signings and acquisitions Morey has made happen this year merely reinforced some familiar feelings. I have a level of excitement and optimism about the Rockets that I didn’t have in the interim years after the McGrady to New York trade. I criticized Les Alexander as cheap, Morey as settling and a middling asset peddler. I was proven the best kind of wrong.

No, this year, Daryl Morey acquired one of the top 10 players in points produced in Ty Lawson after a DUI arrest. Demons aside, his talent is immutable. He brought back K.J. McDaniels, despite Houston’s desire to hide him, on a very reasonable contract. Corey Brewer re-upped on a three-year 23.4 million dollar deal (4th year 5 million dollar deal). A bit pricey for a bench player, but all things considered, you do that. They also retained their starting point guard for 4 years and $25 million.

All of these moves have to be in context. DeAndre Jordan now commands 22 million per year, Goran Dragic is getting 17 million, and DeMarre Carroll is getting 15 million. Every deal made this offseason was done with an eye towards a cap that’s anticipated to jump roughly 20 million dollars, about the cost of a franchise player/superstar. The cap currently sits at $67 million. Here, however, is where Morey’s planning and genius stands strong under scrutiny.

Next: CLICK HERE: What's The Next Step For Daryl Morey?