1. Trade success
Daryl Morey has always been known to make trades, as we always hear about the Rockets as a potential buyer on the trade market. There is where Morey has gotten a bad rap over the years, as many believe he just makes trades for the sake of making trades.
But there’s always been a strategic reason behind Morey’s trades, and this season has been the perfect example of that. Morey recently made a trade to land Bruno Caboclo, who is a shot blocker that can play the role of a big man in the Rockets small ball strategy.
What goes unnoticed is what little Morey has been giving up in these trades, as he traded Jordan Bell and a swap of second-round draft picks in exchange for the Brazilian Kevin Durant. The Rockets had just acquired Bell and had no intention of keeping him, so in essence they didn’t have to give up anything for an up-and-coming 3-and-D player.
On top of that, Morey went out and traded for Robert Covington, who is a 6-foot-9 forward who has become the best shot blocker in the league. Covington has been the Rockets’ second-leading rebounder and is able to defend anyone on the floor.
This has reversed the narrative on the Capela trade, as the early prognosis was that Morey got taken advantage of in this deal. It’s now clear Morey was able to fleece the Minnesota Timberwolves and significantly improved the Rockets. The Rockets had been highly successful without Capela so it made sense to get rid of him, especially if it was going to yield a 3-and-D player like Covington.
The biggest trade Morey made was before the season even started, as he made the risky decision to end the Chris Paul experiment. Morey has been criticized by CP3 for the way the trade transpired, but he essentially had to make this trade for several reasons.
We had heard reports of friction between CP3 and James Harden so it made sense to pair Harden with a superstar he got along with. On top of that, CP3 had an albatross of a contract, which would have limited the Rockets’ future flexibility.
The trade has certainly worked out and the Rockets have gotten the best out of Westbrook.
Russell Westbrook currently leads the NBA in 2-point field goal attempts (901). I don’t think anyone expected a member of the @HoustonRockets to lead the league in this statistic.
He’s shooting a career high 51.6% on 2pt attempts this season and averaging 32ppg in 2020.
— Roosh (@RooshWilliams) February 27, 2020
Morey made all the right trades during the 2019-20 season and has yet to whiff on a player acquisition this season. It’s gone largely under the radar but Morey has fully committed to the desired style of play of Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni.
MDA has essentially decided to shift his scheme to the infamous microball approach, which isn’t necessarily easy to employ halfway through the season. In spite of that, Morey has made the necessary moves to construct the roster to fit with D’Antoni’s vision. This meant loading up on wing players, which is easier said than done. Morey made the commitment to D’Antoni by assembling a cast of players that would fit his scheme.
All in all Morey has dealt with his fair share of trials and tribulations this season, but the manner in which he’s been able to rise above the ashes should put him in the driver’s seat for the Executive of the Year award.