Tag:Houston Rockets
Posted on: July 1, 2010 9:28 am

Daryl Morey: Moving in from the shadows

And around the outside, here come the Rockets.

All year Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey has been talking about wanting to be involved in this summer's free agency extravaganza. But with Yao Ming potentially on the books and a need to re-sign several free agents (including Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry), the Rockets didn't seem to be contenders. They weren't listed on Bosh's "wish list" a few months ago, despite his Texas roots, and were generally considered to be on the outside.

Daryl Morey does not stay on the outside when the stakes are this high.

As KB filled you in this morning in the Free Agency Buzz , Morey was able to get a meeting with Chris Bosh immediately following the opening of the 2010 NBA Free Agency signing period. And, in typical Morey fashion, he posted to Twitter about it afterwards to get everyone to pick up on the scent. This shouldn't stun us. Morey's arguably the best general manager in the league. And despite a long series of moves which bely a savvy and an ability to identify quality value players, he's maintained the need for superstars in this league.

Morey's pitch to Bosh is interesting in and of itself. Morey chose to pursue the championship angle. Bosh, moreso than Dwyane Wade or even LeBron James, has been more focused publicly on being wooed, the market he'll be playing in, and the money he'll be paid. But Morey chose to push championships. But that's not all he can offer.

Houston is a major market, though rarely considered to be so. It's a Texas city, even if it's not Bosh's hometown of Dallas. There are significant connections between the Rockets and Chinese endorsement opportunities, many of which are far more lucrative than anything he can get stateside. And he can feel assured he'll be playing for a top notch coach in Rick Adelman who knows how to win, and play for a GM who is constantly working shrewdly to get the most out of his squad. Throw in a versatile roster that features Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, and Trevor Ariza along with Ming (not to mention every Knicks draft pick for the next bazillion years, though they'd lose some in a sign-and-trade), and the fact that Houston can accomplish a sign-and-trade with Toronto very easily to get him his absolute max contract, and all of a sudden? Houston looks pretty good.

The Rockets were left off the wish list for a reason, if the list was in fact accurate. But Morey's ability to get in first says something about how serious he is in pursuing this. And Bosh will listen to all offers. Morey may have just managed to land the Rockets into this race.

-Matt Moore

Keep up with the latest Free Agency news on Ken Berger's Free Agency Buzz .

Posted on: June 29, 2010 1:24 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2010 1:29 pm

Yao Ming will not opt out

Go ahead and cross the big seven foot Chinese dude off your list of free agent hopefuls for your favorite team. Yao Ming isn't going anywhere. Fox 26 Sports in Houston is reporting that Yao Ming will not opt-out for the last year of his contract with the Houston Rockets, a report that is confirmed by General Manager Daryl Morey via Twitter .

Ming's decision was probably equal parts loyalty and realism. Coming off a year that he missed entirely with yet another foot injury (Ming hasn't played since the 2009 playoffs), his value was likely to be downgraded, especially in a year with so many other stars available. But Ming has always been loyal to the club that drafted him, and with the success the Rockets had nearly making the playoffs without him, he has to feel good about making another run with them. Morey is finally getting out from under the yoke of Tracy McGrady's contract and will be able to continue wheeling and dealing.

The Rockets lineup next year, provided they re-sign Luis Scola, is pretty impressive. Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, Trevor Ariza, Luis Scola, Yao Ming, with Shane Battier, Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill, and Patrick Patterson off the bench. Those stretch fours are going to benefit the most from Ming, who will cause doubles and enable them to create space for open mid-range shots, which most can hit.

The Rockets will also still have assets they can move in a trade, and Morey has shown he's never willing to be content. The Rockets have been near the top of the league during his reign and have really only faltered on account of injury. If Ming comes back healthy (as unreliable a prospect as that is), Houston could be right back in the mix of contenders in 2010-2011.

Funny what a seven foot tall Chinese dude with incrdible touch and length can do for you, huh?

-Matt Moore

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com