Houston has a problem.
The Houston Rockets and general manager Daryl Morey are parting ways after 13 seasons. Morey’s tenure comes to an end during an unpresented year for Houston sports, which includes head coaching and GM changes for all three franchise’s in the Bayou City.
Morey’s final season in Houston got off to a rough start after he tweeted in support for freedom in Hong Kong causing financial problems throughout the league after China pulled the NBA from its airwaves.
Morey made his stamp on the NBA by introducing “Morey-ball,” which is based around analytics, as well as 3-point shooting and lay-ups over mid-range jumpers. Over the years, the Spurs clashed with Morey’s Rockets in a battle of contrasting styles. The Spurs notched a 27-23 record in the regular season during Morey’s tenure in Houston.
Morey cited spending more time with his family as one of the factors for his exit. For now, the Rockets are promoting executive vice president of basketball operations Rafael Stone to GM, but still no word on who’s going to coach James Harden & Co. next season.
Overall, Morey’s time as GM was mostly successful albeit it did not include an NBA title. He swung for the fences, made blockbuster deals to bring in top NBA talent, and groomed players into key players such as Clint Capela.
Perhaps a little bit of that mindset and a better approach could work for Houston's in-state rival.
I hope San Antonio Spurs GM Brian Wright implements some of Morey’s team-building moving forward and analytical mind.
Last season, there were times the analytics showed how the team needed to change up starting lineups or better defensive players were needed on the court. Could Morey's analytics approach have helped the Spurs in those situations when constructing a roster?
Without a current bonafide “franchise player” maybe the Silver & Black could explore the trade market in the next year or two to kickstart the next era in the Spurs franchise.
Barring the team winning the NBA Draft Lottery, signing a top-tier NBA star in free agency or the rapid emergence of one of their young players, this may be the route to take to become a power house in the league once again.
Only time will tell, for now, let’s enjoy this offseason and hopefully the 2020-2021 season starts up sooner than later.