1. The Rockets promoted in-house for Morey’s replacement
Although Morey has become the face of the Rockets’ front office, he didn’t lead the charge single-handedly, as he had a talented staff around him. In fact, two of Morey’s front office members have left to run their own respective franchises within the past year alone, which provides proof of the fact that the Rockets’ successful trades and free agent signings was a team effort, and not Morey’s doing solely.
Newly promoted GM Rafael Stone has been with the franchise longer than Morey was, and he previously served as the Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Rockets, which was a promotion from the general counsel role he initially served for the franchise. During a recent episode of ESPN’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith stated that the Rockets’ organization is very high on Stone, which makes sense, considering how he’s risen through the ranks.
Smith stated, “This guy Rafael Stone has been around for a long time and the Rockets organization is very high on him.”
Morey’s imprint will still be left on the franchise, as Stone and newly promoted assistant general manager Eli Witus were his guys, and were in the weeds with him while he was working his magic.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, who is ESPN’s beat writer for the Rockets, also explained that Stone’s knowledge on the executive landscape came solely from Morey.
“Alot of what he’s learned, as far as the basketball side of running an NBA team, he’s learned from Daryl Morey. I think Morey’s influence will be felt in Houston for awhile because of that.”
Although life without Morey will certainly be different and will be a transition, the Houston Rockets will be just fine without him leading the charge.