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Houston Rockets Off Season Moves in ‘Pursuit’ of 2015-16 Championship

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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After narrowly missing the finals in 2014-15 the Houston Rockets are dedicated to winning the Larry O’Brien trophy in the 2015-16 season. The entire Rockets organization made their off season mandate to take all the steps necessary to recognize that goal.

General Manager Daryl Morey first act was to draft two valuable rookie prospects in this past June’s draft in small forward Sam Dekker who played 3 seasons at Wisconsin and power forward Montrezl Harrell who also played 3 seasons in college at Louisville.

Some were surprised Morey didn’t target a point guard given that was where most people felt they needed an upgrade, and also the position where they had two players in Patrick Beverley and Jason Terry entering free agency. This left only Pablo Prigioni secured at the point which wasn’t an ideal fix to their point guard vacancy.  Morey quickly shored up the situation by resigning Beverley and later locked up Terry. Next Morey signed Lil’ Buckets Marcus Thornton to the team with the hopes he would return to his Sacramento Kings production and potentially provide a real sixth man option.  Yet Morey’s best move of this off season may have been the trade that sent 4 players who were unlikely to see much floor time to acquire Ty Lawson

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In between fixing the point guard needs Morey lost out on the negotiations to re-sign Josh Smith, but this opened up cap space enabling him to re-sign K.J. McDaniels which in my opinion was the most under rated move he made this summer. And finally, with teams clamoring to steal Corey Brewer and veteran Jason Terry from the squad the Rockets along with James Harden convinced both to re-sign new deals with the club.

Now as the team prepares to return to training camp they have boldly stated their intent is single minded in it’s approach, which is the pursuit of a championship. In fact they are literally using the word “pursuit” as their key phrase entering this season. At a team event in front of season ticket holders last week the Rockets introduced their new uniform options and played a video showcasing this new Marketing Campaign. The key quote highlighting that message from the video was:

“If you look around this this locker room, if you look around the arena you see pursuit. All of us are in pursuit of that ring.”-Howard

Jersey and Marketing Campaign Unveiling http://t.co/mraGo0rYQY via @houstonrockets

— Kevin Martinez (@KevinMartinez1A) September 16, 2015

The final tweaks to the line-up will be formalized during training camp and preseason games. With news  Donatas Motiejunas back is not 100%  healed following the April surgery it’s likely Morey will fill the final roster spot with a front court player.

The final piece of business that Morey will concentrate on now that he has 14 of the 15 roster spots locked up for the season will be negotiating the rookie extension contracts of Motiejunas and Terrence Jones. These negotiations will provide some insight as to whether Morey sees these 2 players as core fixtures or if they will be short term solutions on the team. Furthermore what they offer will also provide some insight as to whether the Rockets are willing to spend above the cap in future seasons or if they want to keep room available to seriously enter the Kevin Durant sweepstakes.

One thing we know for certain is the 2015-16 Houston Rockets are without doubt the deepest, most talented team from 1 through 14 ever to play in front of Clutch City. Next week the team returns for training camp to begin their quest of winning a championship. Only time will tell if they’ll be successful in that pursuit.

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