On Tuesday, Houston Rockets executive Daryl Morey allowed us into the general manager world, by explaining how he pulls off superstar trades.
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has developed a reputation for being “Trader Daryl”, as he’s proven to be willing to climb the ladder and roll the dice on whatever it takes to land his desired trade target. Okay, so maybe he doesn’t go by that exact nickname, but you get the point.
We’ve seen Morey pull off splash trades to land superstars on numerous occasions, without even giving up a star player in return. This was on display when the Rockets first landed James Harden, as they traded Kevin Martin and multiple non-lottery draft picks, which was a major fleece. This was such a lopsided trade that it’s safe to say Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti wouldn’t do the deal again today.
Morey was also able to acquire future Hall of Famer Chris Paul without giving up an All-Star to land the Point God. What hasn’t been discussed enough in both of these specific trades is that the Rockets were able to fleece contending Western Conference teams to send their star players to a team like the Rockets, who play in the exact same conference.
Meaning those teams were willing to help the Rockets potentially get past them in the postseason, which ultimately happened with the Thunder, as the Rockets advanced past them in the 2017 playoffs, thanks in large part to Harden. This is part of what has earned Morey the reputation as one of the best GM’s in the league.