Tag:Daryl Morey
Posted on: December 22, 2010 4:36 pm
 

Melo is foolish not to consider Houston

Carmelo Anthony seems dead set on New York, ignoring overtures from Houston and Dallas. We don't think that's quite so smart a plan.
Posted by Matt Moore

Carmelo Anthony has been weighing his options for months. This whole, convoluted process started because Melo started examining his options.  But he's kept his preference limited to New York. He's been ambivalent about New Jersey, mostly because they're the only ones to make an offer to peak the Nuggets' interest. Otherwise, he's shown no real interest in headed to Newark, before Brooklyn. Dallas is considering acquiring him regardless of his extension-status. For whatever reason, Melo's not itching to head to Dallas, despite it being a huge market with considerable endorsement opportunities. But what's more perplexing? 

Why won't Melo consider Houston?

For months, Houston's been in pursuit of a star, as General Manager Daryl Morey has more than once recognized publicly that you need such stars to win in the NBA. Melo's been on the list for as long as he's been on the market, but still, there's been no word of Melo's interest in Houston. And if it's true that Melo simply doesn't have any interest in the Rockets, that makes him a fool. 

The Rockets certainly aren't a contender this year. They're improving with each game, but they're not a top team in their conference, and aren't locked in for the playoffs. Houston isn't the same kind of market as New York. There aren't the same kind of opportunities for endorsements or parties as there are in LA. But Houston does provide the right set of circumstances to get him out of Denver without losing too much, and most importantly, an organization committed to winning. 

Daryl Morey has made significant moves every year he's been with the Rockets, and his success rate has been pretty high, considering the injuries to Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming. Outside of the overspending on Trevor Ariza, largely acquired due to a nice playoff run on a stacked team in LA, Morey's been on point. More important, though,  is the organizational approach. Morey almost never shackles himself to long-term assets, seizes opportunities to improve his roster (as he did with Ron Artest), drafts well, and if something isn't working, will move to improve it. He supports his head coach Rick Adelman and works in conjunction with him, as opposed to autonomously.

The Rockets have the pieces to acquire Anthony without giving up the farm for him, as New Jersey is backed into a corner about. The Nets keep offering up more and more assets, and have been acquiring more to try and sweeten the deal. But what's left if they send all that? The only thing assured to be waiting on Melo in Jersey is Brook Lopez, who hasn't been having as good of a season as he normally does. 

Meanwhile, the Rockets can package Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, any number of combinations of reasonable solid players to acquire Melo, and will still have either the expiring contract of Yao Ming to trade, or the money this summer once Yao comes off the books. Should they elect to move Martin, they may be able to pull in another A+ player depending on who or what pick they choose to package with him. Should they keep him, they'll have a legit scoring 2-guard to put next to Melo. 

And as a core element, they have Luis Scola. Scola is a top power forward in the West this year. He has ability to play in the post, can defend out to mid-range as well as down low, and rebounds well. Even at 30 years old, he's a piece worth building around, especially at only $16 million over the next two years. 

Melo's wife La La Vasquez may want the bright lights of New York.  But if Anthony really wants to contend, he needs to hitch his wagon to a management and ownership group who is willing to work to make sure he has a contender each year, and will pounce on opportunities to make the team better. Daryl Morey offers that, and without the baggage that New York is still struggling through without draft picks. Mark Cuban's Mavericks are in a similar situation, but with Houston, there's no Dirk-Nowitzki-type player who Melo would have to share the spotlight and ball with. He'd have free reign to be the man, have a legitimate chance at winning, and an organization committed to success. 

A player's legacy isn't forged in commercials and cocktail parties. Houston's not the most glamorous city in the league. But ask Hakeem Olajuwon what playing there did for him. 
Posted on: October 25, 2010 9:52 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:03 pm
 

Joey Dorsey discusses cousin's kidnap and murder

Toronto Raptors forward Joey Dorsey opens up about the kidnapping and murder of his cousin in West Baltimore. Posted by Ben Golliverjoey-dorsey It's not every day an NBA player decides to open up to a reporter about a family member's death, but that's what happened recently, when bruising Toronto Raptors forward Joey Dorsey poured his heart out to Holly MacKenzie of The Score. Dorsey, a native of West Baltimore, one of the most crime-ridden places in the United States, describes playing at the D-League showcase last January, trying to impress scouts and Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey. After a particularly strong outing, Dorsey received a call from an assistant coach who passed on his regrets for Dorsey's loss.  Unfortunately, Dorsey didn't know what the coach was talking about. At least not yet.
He didn’t know what was happening, and after the coach hung up the phone suddenly, Dorsey immediately called his mother in a panic. When he got her on the phone, his mother first tried to hide the pain from her son, pretending nothing had happened. Not on this weekend, not when he had so much to prove. After Dorsey told her about the call from the assistant coach, his mother broke down. Dorsey takes a breath before revealing the tragedy he found out about that day. “My mom started crying. My cousin had got kidnapped and killed.” The impact hit Dorsey immediately. “It’s very hard for me to trust anybody. I really don’t go back home like that. It’s just like, ‘What am I doing going back home for if they killed him?’” After that, Dorsey shut himself off even more. “I really don’t let people get close to me anymore or anything like that. My mom says you should stop shutting people out of your life, so coming up here, this is good for me. An outdoor place, I can walk around, have friends and have fun. I’m cool with it up here.”
Dorsey's immediate NBA future hangs in the balance, as he is the 15th man on the Raptors roster. Final cuts come today. After reading MacKenzie's full piece, which describes Dorsey's growing affection for Toronto and his relationship with his mother, who worked two jobs to support him by herself and traveled by Greyhound bus to attend his college games in Memphis, it's impossible not to root for him to stick.
Posted on: September 23, 2010 4:38 pm
 

Preseason Primer: Houston Rockets

Posted by Matt Moore

The Rockets finally have Yao Ming healthy. They finally have Tracy McGrady out of their hair. They finally have the pieces together to make another run. But can any of the pieces fit together? Are they really as dangerous as everyone says they are? Does speaking in rhetorical questions make you want to read this, our next selection in our Preseason Primers ? Let's find out as we talk about the Rox.


Training camp site: Houston, TX (Hidalgo, TX in early October)

Training camp starts: September 25th

Key additions: Brad Miller (free agent), Courtney Lee (trade), Patrick Patterson (draft)

Key subtractions: Trevor Ariza (trade), David Andersen (trade)

Likely starting lineup:
Aaron Brooks (PG), Kevin Martin (SG), Shane Battier (SF), Luis Scola (PF), Yao Ming (C)

Player to watch:
Patrick Patterson. Assuming the Rox don't go all nuts and acquire Carmelo Anthony during camp, their starting lineup is pretty well set. But Patterson is a rookie who comes out of that ridiculous Kentucky class and could wind up being the kind of flex player that makes a big impression on Rick Adelman. He's versatile, strong, has a good mid-range, and can work inside of a complex offense. He's got a great opportunity to make an impact for the Rockets during camp.


Chemistry quiz:
The Rockets have seemed like a team that's liked one another for years. They hung together when Yao Ming went down, and their samurai-like approach last year was noble, even if it fell short. Basically, even without the star talent you need to win in this league, the Rockets were the team you didn't want to run into in a dark alley. They were tough, gritty, and hung together. The addition of Kevin Martin, trying to reassert himself as a premier player in this league could cause issues, and there's no telling if the same goodwill will maintain with as many changes as the Rockets have made in the past two years. But the core elements are in place, and the tone of camp should be fun and focused, instead of contentious and tense. Not having solified expectations due to Yao's injury should help with manners as well.


Camp battles:
Small forward was set to be a huge battle but promising second year man Chase Budinger tweaked an ankle and won't be able to battle old man Battier for the slot left open by Trevor Ariza's departure. Jermaine Taylor, Courtney Lee, and Jared Jeffries should have a good one for the backup role behind Martin. Jordan Hill vs. Patterson should make for a nice one as well, with Hill's scrap versus Patterson's finesse providing contrast in style.

Injury issues:
Budinger's ankle is significant, but other than that the Rockets seem really healthy and don't have any pro...OH, YEAH. Yao Ming is coming back from an injury that's held him out for a year and a half and is trying to just stay on the floor while the rest of the team holds its breath everytime his feet leave the ground. camp.

Biggest strength:
Doin' work. The Rockets put in a full effort every night, a testament to both the roster assembled and Rick Adelman's job. They lacked an identity last year without Yao, but it did help them to adjust to whatever they faced. The Rockets can get out and run, or grind it out. They're really best when they're doing both. They'll battle for every loose ball and every player knows his role. It's a strong team they've put together.

Glaring weakness:
Three point shooting. Brooks isn't an efficient shooter. Martin's three point shooting dropped off a cliff last season. Budinger can shoot, but the rest of the team isn't great from the arc, including backup point guard Kyle Lowry.
Posted on: September 16, 2010 3:30 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2010 3:50 pm
 

The impact of Yao's minute limitations

Returning All-Star center will be limited to 24 minutes per game, but how does that affect the rest of the team?
Posted by Matt Moore


As we told you in The Shootaround this morning, the Rockets have come out and told the world not to be expecting 100% Yao this year. He's going to be ready to go, he's going to go, he's going to be Yao. But he'll only be doing that for 24 minutes per game . That's it. And when they say "that's it," they mean "that's it ." From the Houston Chronicle :

"Yao’s playing time will not average 24 minutes; it will end there. If he plays 22 minutes in one game, he will not play 26 the next. For that matter, if he plays two minutes one game, he will not play 26 the next. When Yao reaches his 24 minutes, he will be through for that game."

The Rockets assistant trainer explained that the decision wasn't arbitrary. The Rockets, one of the most empirically influenced teams in the league, looked at an unspecified set of data and determined that with the nature of Yao's injury, he simply can't go the full game, not even for only a few nights:

“We have evidence that when he played 35 to 40 minutes he averaged two years ago there was a buildup of stress on his foot that led to it being injured in the playoffs. On some level, we have at least one indication 35 to 40 minutes might be too much. That would lead you to choose to look at having a limit.”

It makes sense, right? Yao's injury is physical-stress-related. So let's limit the amount of stress he puts on it a night. Granted, with his frame, there's going to be that problem no matter what he does. Walking's going to put stress on it. Any weight on it, that's stress. But that's a bit different from jumping up and down constantly battling Andrew Bynum for rebounds, landing awkwardly repeatedly. He's had a full year off, he's got a plan. The question's not if this is the right move for Yao and the Rockets it is. Mentioned several times in the article is the discussion of how the blowup in Chicago between Vinny Del Negro and Paxson erupted over Joakim Noah's minutes. Everyone's on the same page. There's a plan, there are rules, they should work for Yao, and if they don't, there's probably nothing they could do otherwise.

But will that plan work for the Rockets?

We're entering into a particularly tricky area, one that's best labeled "sub-chemistry." There's the overall chemistry of the Rockets, which is good. Most of the guys seem to get along with Yao, and each other. There's a lot of the same pieces from the 2008 22-game winning streak, and that was all about chemistry. The new pieces are all high quality character guys with marginal egos (Kevin Martin the only question mark, and it's a widdle bitty one at that). But personal chemistry is different that playing chemistry. That takes time, and patience and most importantly, rhythm. Yao's only on the floor for 24 minutes per game, that's fine. But in that 24 minutes per game, they've got to get Yao involved. Then, they're going to have to shift to how they played without him on the floor. The two aren't necessarily inseparable. But they are different, and the transition might be difficult on a night in and night out basis. Usually players who only play 24 minutes per night are not of Yao's caliber, aren't the kinds of guys you want to get touches, and lots of them. The roles will remain the same, but the flows do change.

This will be a challenge for head coach Rick Adelman to manage, even as it's a blessing to get Yao back on the floor. Yao Ming has the potential to help the Rockets back into the playoffs along with a versatile and talented roster. But how that roster evolves in transitioning to and from those crucial 24 minutes per game is going to be a bit like Jenga. One slight miscalculation, and the structure could tumble.
Posted on: September 8, 2010 9:20 am
 

Shootaround 9.8.10: Super Scola

Posted by Royce Young
  • Luis Scola was a one man wrecking crew yesterday against Brazil. He finished with 37 points and scored six in the closing minutes for Argentina. He was so good, he got his general manager to tweet, "Scola goes into video game god mode to finish off Brazil. Wow."
  • Jason Friedman of Rockets.com on Scola's performance: "Having watched him for three years now, Rockets fans know the truth: Scola is simply passion personified. He loves the game. Loves the competition. Loves the challenge of improving himself every day. The Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen once wrote that Scola is the walking, talking embodiment of every fan’s ideal: that if we, too, were able to compete at the world’s highest level, we would do so with the sort of passion and professionalism Scola displays on a daily basis. 99.999 percent of us play the game we love for free. If every professional basketball league on the planet were to suddenly dissolve, rest assured Luis Scola would play gratis, too. And he’d do so with a giant smile on his face."
  • Doug Smith of the Toronto Star looking at Team USA's added incentive against Russia: "If the United States is looking for any extra motivation as the quarter-finals of the world basketball championships unfold, the players can look back on one of the darkest moments in the international history of the sport in that country, to a time before any of them were born. It was at the 1972 Munich Olympics, in one of the most storied games in international basketball history, that Russia beat the United States in a gold-medal game marred by a replayed finish that had all the stench of a pre-ordained result."
  • Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! looking at the same thing: "Thirty-eight years later, all the hate and acrimony between the Americans and Russians is gone on the basketball court. They used to look across the floor and wonder what in the world they had in common. All those Eastern European states – Serbia, Croatia and Lithuania – gobbled up the best players, and Russian basketball is left fighting for its identity, its soul, its future. Chicken fingers and potato skins in the shadows of the Ottoman Empire and Sea of Marmara — yes, the final victims of American sporting capitalism have paid a steep price."
  • Charles Barkley had a history of demanding trades and potentially chasing rings. Yet, he continues to rip on LeBron for the same things. Matt Bunch of Hot Hot Hoops looks at it: "So what’s the end result? Let your biases be known. Identify you’re being hypocritical, and explain why your present-day view is right and your past one is wrong. I don’t think anyone is clamoring for ideological rigidity from Trent Dilfer or Mark Schlereth or Charles Barkley, but if you’re going to say something that will figuratively make the listening audience’s ears bleed, preface it (or follow it) with an explanation of why you just said that thing. It’s the least you can do; we’re not stupid."
  • Could Chris Bosh's departure lead to Andrea Bargnani's breakout? RaptorsRepublic looks: "Maybe it’s a psychological thing with him, Bosh’s departure might not open up space on the court, but it could in his mind? Huh? Or maybe it’s simply a matter of hoisting more shots? Perhaps 14.3 FGAs a game doesn’t cut it for him and if he ups that he’ll be more interested in playing defense and will be more comfortable making plays for others. I’m clutching at straws here, but any way one looks at it, the burden of proof of whether Bargnani can become the player he was touted to be rests solely on him, not anyone else. It is no-one’s “fault” that he’s been under-performing except his. The coming season presents a different opportunity for Bargnani to excel, not necessarily a better one."
Posted on: August 12, 2010 9:05 am
Edited on: August 12, 2010 9:30 am
 

Shootaround 8.12.10: Scal with a clipboard?

Posted by Matt Moore

Did we overreact to the Malice in the Palace? Was it really that big of a deal when Ron Artest went into the stands and decked a fan who he thought hit him with a cup of soda (he didn't, some other dude did)? After all, Kevin McHale did pretty much the same thing in 1987. The answer of course, is no. Even if no one was significantly injured in either incident doesn't mean that the odds are good these types of things won't lead to it. There are kids in that lower bowl. Let's all agree near-riots are bad, m'kay?

While we're at it, let's keep "don't slap assistant coaches in Pro-Am leagues (or ever)" on the list as well.

Daryl Morey on the trade for Courtney Lee yesterday: "This is a guy who we were focused on acquiring in the (’08) draft. I think, overall, the deal is similar to the Kyle Lowry deal. We’ve been trying to acquire Courtney when he went to Orlando and then he went to New Jersey and as you can tell, myself being on vacation, you can just never tell when an opportunity is going to strike. We really target players who we think will fit in well here over time and when we got our first chance to acquire him we really were obviously fairly aggressive to get this done."

Lorenzo Wright's ex-wife (who has been investigated in connection to his murder) claims he left the house the night of his murder with drugs and money . This story gets progressively somehow more depressing.

Carlos Arroyo raps ! (Not well.)

Breathe a sigh of relief for the already depleted Team USA team. Danny Granger's finger is A-OK . You can pat your Pacer friends on the back as well.

Don't sleep on Shaun Livingston. I can never decide if Shaun Livingston is over-covered due to his hardships, or not covered enough. Either way, the idea of him with the Bobcats is a pretty solid concept. Larry Brown is the type of coach that appreciates the effort that Livingston has made to recover from injury.

Chris Bosh continues to drive the dagger into Toronto . It's kind of suprising. Some people you expect to behave cruelly to their former small-market comrades. But Bosh never struck me as that type. I was wrong in that assessment.

Shocking news, Rudy Fernandez wants out of Portland . No, really. No kidding. Like, seriously this time. No joshing.

Brian Scalabrine may be a coach . No, not a dancing coach. Quit laughing. It's not funny. Not that funny, at least.
Posted on: July 1, 2010 10:36 am
Edited on: July 1, 2010 11:36 am
 

Free-agency layup line: LeBron's gift edition

All of the little free agency stories that flow through. We'll have several of these throughout the day, updated regularly.

A mystery team dropped a "small square box" containing a gift off at LeBron James' house at 11PM Wednesday night, according to the New York Daily News .  Our best guesses as to the gift are the heart of a lion, whatever was in the suitcase in "Pulp Fiction ", or a Russian doll containing $2.4 million in bonds.  (HT: FanHouse )

Richard Jefferson opted out of his contract, but that doesn't necessarily mean much for the team basketball-wise. Spurs blog 48 Minutes of Hell reports that with the team significantly over the cap still, Jefferson's opt-out doesn't clear them to make any significant moves and leaves them with a hole at small forward. You have to wonder if Tony Parker and his contract may be even more on the block.

Chris Bosh is predictably keeping track of his free agency exploits on Twitter. As of 4EST, he had met with the Bulls, Raptors, Heat, and Rockets (check out more on our discussion of Houston's chances ). You have to wonder if it's better to be early or late in these discussions. The Knicks seem to be taking the latter approach, since they went and visited Mike Miller first thing last night.

Darren Rovell of Sports Biz reports that part of the Nets' offer for LeBron James is a clothing line via Jay-Z . These are the kind of advantages teams have to pull out. There's so much more going on here than just money and a good core of players, though those things are up-front the most important.

Via Wizards blog Bullets Forever , Yahoo! Sports reports that Washington is looking to fill that whole at small forward quickly . They've already spoken to both of their expired small forwards (Mike Miller, Josh Howard) and are looking at Ryan Gomes, Travis Outlaw, Rasual Butler and even Josh Childress who is still in Greece. With the acquisition of Kirk Hinrich, the Wizards have to be thinking on the cheap with this contract, and likely won't want to commit to anything long-term. Then again, they traded for Kirk Hinrich and Yi Jianlian, so there's no telling what they're going to do next.

John Hammond is "cautiously optimistic" that the Bucks will be able to re-sign John Salmons. Then again, we think Hammond is "cautiously losing his mind" for giving Drew Gooden a 5 year, $32 million deal when he has Ersan Ilyasoava and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute along with rookie Larry Sanders to pair with Andrew Bogut. Hammond's either gone around the bend or is in pursuit of something...


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 .

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