Holy shit. I know the Rockets sort of underachieved and everything, but this is pretty massive. After going all in on the Westbrook/Harden duo, Mike D'Antoni stepped down and now the mastermind behind everything does the same? It sounds to me like the Rockets could very well be on the verge of a fire sale. You lose the coach and the GM that were behind your small ball style of play, you have to then adjust your roster right? What's crazy is it sounds like it was Morey's idea!
In the aftermath of Houston's elimination from the NBA's restart in Orlando, Florida, Morey approached owner Tilman Fertitta with the idea of leaving the job and the sides quietly worked through an exit agreement to conclude his 13 seasons running the franchise's basketball operations, sources said.
Unless he could see the writing on the wall and decided to get ahead of it, this is pretty nuts. I guess it makes sense why we heard some Westbrook to the Knicks rumors yesterday. We could live in a world where two MVPs are potentially up for sale. If you're a new coach and a new GM, you may as well start from the ground up right? You go with the Sam Presti route and get as many top end assets as you can for a potential rebuild. Maybe Eric Gordon is moved to a contender that needs shooting. Anything is a possibility now.
It's wild how much a pulled hammy changed the course of the Rockets and really the future of the NBA. If Chris Paul never gets hurt against the Warriors, they probably win that title. There is no Westbrook trade. There is no new coach. And Daryl Morey for sure doesn't step down. That has to be one of the bigger "what ifs" in NBA history. Think of what that injury did. It didn't just impact the Rockets, it jump started OKC's big time rebuild. Maybe Paul George doesn't end up in LA, which means maybe Kawhi isn't a Clipper. Does he stay in Toronto?
With the West being absolutely loaded next season, it'll be fascinated to see what the Rockets do. They committed with two feet to this new style of play and building a roster of guys 6'8 and under, and it clearly was an issue against the size of the Lakers. Well now GS is coming back, teams around them are improving, and they are standing at a crossroads with the two guys gone who were responsible for it all.
James Harden has 3 years left on his deal (2+1) and Westbrook has the same. If you do trade for those guys, it's not like you have to worry about them leaving anytime soon. They made an absurd amount of money (like in the 40Ms) so I don't know how you make that money work, but MVPs don't come available very often so if there's a chance the Rockets blow it up, there will be a market for both.