Daryl Morey: 'It was a tough weekend'

Daryl Morey: 'It was a tough weekend'
July 14, 2014, 12:45 pm
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LAS VEGAS - The NBA free agent signing period is less than a week old and it would seem no team has been busier than the Houston Rockets. Yet, moving forward, they may continue to be the busiest team, since the roster they hoped to put on the court for this season did not come together as they'd hoped.

"It was a tough weekend," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said on SportsTalk 790 on Monday. "We were very close to what we thought was maybe the best team in the NBA."

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey acknowledged the obvious in a radio interview on Monday. The Rockets were very confident that nine-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion Chris Bosh was about to agree to join the Rockets on Friday. In doing so, the Rockets would have then decided to match the three-year, $46 million contract on Chandler Parsons to keep him in Houston and the future would have been extremely bright, pairing them with all-NBA first teamer James Harden and second-teamer Dwight Howard.

Instead, the team has neither.

"It looked extremely likely (that Bosh would be with Houston)," Morey said. "Chris Bosh's camp was very professional throughout. Chris was definitely coming if Miami, at the last minute, didn't put all five years and that huge offer that we obviously couldn't match because of the rules."

Houston engaged in countless conversations, ultimately forging ahead on two significant trades, one of which they agreed to, while they were in the midst of hopefully adding Bosh.

"We had the offer to Chris, while it looked extremely likely, our deal for Jeremy (Lin) was going to go away," Morey said. "We had to move before we had the 100 percent (from Bosh), because the Lakers were ready to move on with other things."

Lin, in the final year of his contract, was moved the Lakers, essentially to clear cap space with his $8.37 million coming off the salary cap and to add a trade exception. Following the Bosh decision to stay in Miami, Houston faced their biggest dilemma about matching the contract on Parsons, who had started 207 games over the last three seasons in Houston.

"I am very happy for Chandler, he worked really really hard in Houston," Morey said later in the interview. "Whatever he gets, I'm happy for him. He's a great person, a great player. The Mavericks are a smart organization, they obviously wanted to get him.

"The structure of that (Parsons contract) is one of the most untradeable structures I've ever seen. That's why it came down to a bet of Harden, Howard, Parsons being the final piece because we would have had no ability to do anything after that. Harden, Howard, Parsons could have been good enough. I think Parsons is a tremendous player and I think he'll keep getting better. But It really comes down to is it better with that core or is it better with (Trevor) Ariza, plus the hundreds of moves that might be able to upgrade us in the other scenario. That core was going to have to be the core we had, because if we ever wanted to go after a different core, it wasn't going to be possible."

Morey mentioned the acquisition of Trevor Ariza, who was part of the second deal they will made. They moved Omer Asik ($8.37 million cap figure) and Omri Casspi to New Orleans and as part of three-team trade bringing Ariza back to Houston on a four-year, $32 million deal. They also added Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson in the deal, each of whom have non-guaranteed contracts for 2014-15.

"We feel we were almost there with the Bosh-Parsons moves," Morey said. "When that didn't happen we felt like the best thing to do was step back. We've now got a pick, a guaranteed lottery pick basically that is now is exactly structured like the pick that got us James Harden last time. We now have trade exceptions, we now have cap room and we also have pretty good team that's a top four seed team in the west even with the decision not to match Chandler.

"We're just focused on winning the title," Morey continued. "We're very disappointed in getting eliminated in the first round this year, but we're not trying to make a team that gets to the second round and loses. We're not trying to make a team that gets to the third round and loses. We're trying an NBA champion and it's very clear what that takes. It's very clear what that takes. If you look through history, it takes at least three elite players with very few exceptions. That's what we're focused on putting together."