HOUSTON (CBS Houston) — Let’s be honest.
We’ve all lost a little faith in Rockets general manager Daryl Morey during the last week. He got us all hyped last week about the possibility of delivering a perennial All-Star center by gathering enough first round draft picks as a bargaining chip right before Thursday’s NBA Draft.
We all know how disappointingly that played out. The Rockets ended up with three promising rookies, no center and most crushing without a marquee player in the deal.
But Morey’s biggest miss to date may have been his greatest blessing.
The carrot at the end of all this maneuvering was Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard, whom the Rockets would have forked over a hefty sum (likely a Top 5 draft pick and players) to rent a marquee player for the 2012-13 season had things gone according to Morey’s twisted plan.
Clearly in this case Morey was saved from himself. Bringing a whining, pampered player to the Rockets as a rent-a All-Star would be have been a colossal mistake. Morey would have been reminded as much every day as Howard told anyone who would listen he’s out the second the time expires on his current contract next summer.
Instead of being the missing piece to put the Rockets back into the playoff mix in the Western Conference, Howard would become their greatest roadblock.
If you want to see the damage Howard is capable of just look the mess his pleading to be traded and then back-pedaling has done to what should be a solid Magic squad.
Howard and his selfish mentality are assets that most teams would just as soon do without. Morey may not realize it yet but the Rockets are better off. It would seem with the Magic has resigned to unload Howard after his latest trade demand last week they may have now lost the object of Howard’s desire when the Brooklyn Nets agree to a trade that will bring them guard Joe Johnson to pair with free agent All-Star point guard Deron Williams.
Perhaps the Nets have watched and his indecisiveness from afar and realized that his extraordinary game in the paint not outweigh the headaches he will bring.
Apparently, Morey still hasn’t learned his lesson. Even after getting Chicago Bulls backup center Omer Asik to agree to a ridiculous three-year $25 million contract on the first day of free agency Sunday, Morey is apparently still interested in renting Howard for a year if things can be worked. Once here, Morey believes he can romance and sweet talk Howard into staying longer.
But Morey is lucky Howard doesn’t seem to share the same affinity for him and the Rockets. He’s made it a not-so-well-kept-secret his desire to play with Williams in Brooklyn. So it’s the Nets, not the Rockets, he is willing to entertain trade offers from with the possibly of signing a long-term deal.
“There is only one team on my list and if I don’t get traded there, I’ll play the season out and explore my free agency after that,” Howard said to Yahoo! Sports.
The message can’t get any more clearer to Morey. Don’t bother. Move around. Buzz off.
The Rockets franchise, if it isn’t go to tank and rebuild through the draft, needs a marquee player it can build around for years to come. A player who isn’t going to commit isn’t the answer.
With that said, a career backup like Asik isn’t either. Morey is attempting to buy himself a rather expensive backup plan and save some face after trading away the only center (Samuel Dalembert) on the roster last week in order to move up two spots from the last lottery selection.
But make no mistake the Rockets need some post help next season with Los Angeles Lakers Pau Gasol on the trading block and Roy Hibbert and JaVale McGee on the free agent market. It looks like Hibbert is somewhere between remaining with Indiana and taking the money in Portland, but nonetheless those are the types of players it would have been nice to see Morey getting involved instead of the self-proclaimed Superman whose mouth has become his Kryptonite.
Morey’s legacy in Houston and job are likely on the line after twice now he has unsuccessfully wasted precious time trying to pry Howard from Orlando. In addition to assemble three unnecessary first round draft picks in hopes of enticing the Magic to trade Howard, Morey also tried right up until the trade deadline to land the unhappy Howard and then he committed to not opting out of his contract this summer.
Maybe there is something between Morey and Howard because Howard certainly seems to keep saving Morey from himself.