When the Rockets made the decision to trade Clint Capela in favor of a smaller lineup, the national outcry came pouring in. What were the Rockets doing? How were they going to compete without a 7-footer?
We’d seen the Rockets on essentially every ESPN show, from First Take to Around the Horn to Pardon the Interruption, and they too were asking the same question. Charles Barkley of TNT’s Inside the NBA stated how this strategy was an example of Rockets GM Daryl Morey throwing in the cards for the rest of the season and mailing it in.
Morey discussed the public outcry of the Rockets being without a 7-footer on the roster, and made sure to remind everyone how that’s simply not true.
“If on the same day we made that trade, we had also traded for Tyson Chandler, do you think the uproar have been as big? Everyone is like ‘they don’t have a 7-footer’ and I was like ‘we have Tyson Chandler.’ We’re choosing not to play him right now but he’s there.
Obviously Tyson Chandler hasn’t been a major factor for the Rockets but Morey wanted to dispel the notion that the Rockets don’t have a 7-footer on the roster. Another 7-footer the Rockets have on the roster is Isaiah Hartenstein, but they also aren’t playing him right now.
Morey explained the rationale behind the decision to swap Capela for Robert Covington, and offered a transparent response.
We felt like it was a move we had to make. Obviously we’re focused on our chance to win the championship and we were a good team, we needed to be a great team and we thought this gave us the best chance to be great..”
It’s too early to draw a conclusion either way, but it’s good to see Morey acknowledge that the Rockets weren’t a great team as previously constructed. It obviously remains to be seen how they’ll fare in the postseason, but they’ve been sliding in the standings of late.
Next: Small ball success