Although the NBA has been on a hiatus since mid-March, the Houston Rockets have used the break in action to prepare for their offseason moves.
The Houston Rockets have been out of commission since March 10th, as the novel coronavirus pandemic forced the NBA to shut down once Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive. Although basketball fans have been starved and destitute for action, there have been positive signs and reasons for optimism for an NBA return, as much of the league’s teams have already opened their facilities back up, like the Rockets.
But the hiatus hasn’t exactly been all bad, as it’s allowed teams to get a head start on the offseason, which is what the Rockets have done during this unprecedented pause in action. While previously speaking to SportsTalk 790, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey explained how the Rockets have been taking advantage of the break.
“Right now we’re working on video of possible free agents, possible trades, possible draft picks. That’s the prep work so that when we restart, we can be prepared for anything that might get thrown at us. Because I think its going to be intense.”
This is wise on the Rockets’ part, as the league may possibly have a shortened offseason, depending on when the 2020-21 season gets started. On top of that, we heard on Wednesday that the NBA could potentially have games resume as late as August, so the Rockets have plenty of time to plan ahead for the offseason.
We’ve also heard about how the coronavirus pandemic will cause a lower salary cap, meaning it’ll be much more difficult than usual to sign potential free agents.
How the Rockets have used the hiatus to plan ahead for the offseason.
The Rockets will have tough decisions to make on several players from this year’s roster, which will certainly be the case on a truncated salary cap, much like the 2018 offseason. If you recall, players were taking the first big offer that came through, as opposed to waiting to see what market existed for their services. This is part to blame for the Rockets losing Trevor Ariza, whose defense was pivotal against the Golden State Warriors in the postseason.
In addition, the Rockets will need as much time as possible to explore trade options, as they aren’t exactly loaded with assets to ship out, which will also make it more difficult to execute trades. For this reason, it’s wise for the Rockets to spend as much time preparing for deals as possible. It’s interesting to hear Morey discuss potential draft picks, because he’s made it known that he doesn’t exactly believe in building through the draft, especially when a team is in win-now mode, like the Rockets are.
Overall it’s good to hear that the Houston Rockets have been using the break to plan ahead for the offseason, as they don’t have the supporting cast they had during the 2017-18 season. What could make things challenging as it pertains to roster moves is that we don’t exactly know which coach will be spearing the ship next season, unless Morey already has that figured out as well.