Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The only veteran holdover [for the Houston Rockets] of any consequence is Kevin Martin. Since June 27, Morey has traded or released six rotation regulars from last season, including perhaps his best player, Luis Scola. The Rockets released Scola under the amnesty clause in a move that will save the team $21 million over three seasons. Goran Dragic was allowed to sign with Phoenix as a free agent. Samuel Dalembert, Kyle Lowry, Courtney Lee and Marcus Camby were traded for draft picks, young players or both. The two primary off-season signings were Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, who, together, have played in 212 games.
The method behind the madness? Morey, who spent time with the Boston Celtics during the last decade before moving to Houston, is trying to recreate what Danny Ainge did in Boston to acquire Kevin Garnett. Ainge succeeded by developing young players (Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Delonte West) to the point that they became valuable trading chips in deals a month apart for Garnett and Ray Allen in the summer of 2007.
“It’s very similar to what Boston did,” Morey said. “Hopefully, it will yield the same result.”
I respect Daryl Morey for having the guts to tear apart a team on the verge of the playoffs because he knew it wasn’t going to get much better. Some GMs don’t have the balls to make that move. They’d rather toil as a mediocre playoff team because of the job security. Morey is going for the gold, but if he fails, he’ll likely be gone in a few years.
Houston’s been mediocre for a decade plus, but I believe Ainge was more desperate when he made the deals in 2006-07. That Celtics team won 24 games. He was brought here in 2003 to restore the glory. The fan base was growing restless.
Another glaring difference – the Celtics had a legitimate franchise player in Paul Pierce. The Rockets have a bunch of secondary players.
Peter May dredges up the Kevin McHale-did-Danny-a-favor theory:
And he had a good buddy in Kevin McHale, who is now the Rockets’ coach but was running the Minnesota Timberwolves, Garnett’s team at the time, a circumstance that cannot be discounted.
I refuse to believe this is true. Would McHale really make a trade that wasn’t in his (team or personal) best interest?