4. Morey valued scheme fit above overall talent
Daryl Morey was also very keen on adding players who were a schematic fit, more than he valued adding overall talent. I think this partially comes from Morey’s experience with Dwight Howard.
The offense seemed to have stoppage and lack of flow when Howard was posting up down low, and Morey was probably annoyed that it was taking the ball away from Efficiency God James Harden.
Howard: “There were times I was disinterested because of situations that happened behind the scenes that really hurt me. It left me thinking, ‘This is not what I signed up for.’
I felt like my role was being reduced. I went to [Rockets general manager] Daryl [Morey] and said, ‘I want to be more involved.’
Daryl said, ‘No, we don’t want you to be.’ My response was, ‘Why not? Why am I here?’ It was shocking to me that it came from him instead of our coach.
So I said to him, ‘No disrespect to what you do, but you’ve never played the game. I’ve been in this game a long time. I know what it takes to be effective.”
As Harden evolved, Morey filled the team around him with more scheme fit players. Morey highly valued 3-D players. Almost every player signed was brought in for one or two specific roles that they excelled at, to maximize every player.
This was also probably a big reason why Mike D’Antoni was hired, as he was known for maximizing guard play. To be more specific in roster decisions, P.J. Tucker/Trevor Ariza/Luc Mbah a Moute were brought in for defense and threes.
Capela’s roles were specifically interior defense, rebounding, and catching lobs off pick-and-rolls. Gordon and Anderson were brought in to jack 3’s from wherever and whenever they felt necessary.
The only time after Dwight Howard that this idea was conflicted was when Daryl Morey signed Carmelo Anthony (Morey thought it would work but it didn’t) and when he traded Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook. Morey’s value for scheme is a huge part of the idea/rumor that Morey never wanted to trade CP3 for Westbrook in the first place.
Morey needed to make that trade to try and keep Harden happy, but that didn’t turn out in the long run. Morey’s emphasis on scheme fit is why he tried to maximize Russell Westbrook with small ball, but small ball failed when Russell Westbrook wasn’t at full health during playoffs.
To make this theory look more convincing with some sort of evidence, Morey wanted to trade for CP3 on the 76ers, but CP3 wasn’t interested.
Moving onto Rafael Stone…
Next: No. 3