Just call Daryl Morey the Money Man.
The Houston Rockets general manager's shown he's very adept at saving his owner Leslie Alexander a lot of money. That's all Morey accomplished in free agency while ruining a Rockets team that he claimed stood on the cusp all last season — right through that first round debacle against Portland and beyond.
Morey's proven to be so good at saving Alexander cash — and so bungling in any attempt to better the team — that one cannot but wonder if that actually was his mandate all along.
There's no possible way to make basketball sense of what the Rockets have done. Morey rushes to trade Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik (shedding the balloon payment years of their poison pill contracts in the process) when Chris Bosh is anything but committed to Houston. Then, he turns around and blinks at Mark Cuban's willingness to open up his checkbook and fails to match the offer for Chandler Parsons.
But the Rockets are just keeping their options open to add a marquee free agent next offseason, the Rockets media sycophants now claim. Yeah sure.
Ariza enjoyed his best season because he had John Wall passing him the ball. With Lin in LA, Ariza won't find any point guard capable of helping him in Houston.
The Rockets dumped talent and salary this free agency period. And that's all they did. Morey had a worse weekend than Lionel Messi.
Let's review. The Rockets jettison their best point guard by far in Lin, the best backup center in the NBA in Asik and a somewhat overrated but still promising small forward in Parsons. And they tried to compensate for all that by adding Trever Freaking Ariza.
Trevor Ariza? What possible analytics analysis compelled Morey to jump on Trevor Ariza?
Ariza is the ultimate buy high move. The 29-year-old Ariza enjoyed his best season last year because he had John Wall passing him the ball. With Lin helping Kobe Bryant in LA, Ariza won't find any point guard capable of getting him open shots in Houston. Everyone's already seen what Ariza can do in Houston without a good point guard.
Only the Rockets organization's lackeys at ClutchFans could pretend to be excited about Trevor Ariza.
Chandler Parsons still possesses the type of potential to grow into a better player that Ariza lacks. Sure, Parsons is somewhat overrated at this moment (the fourth best player on the Rockets last season at best). A segment of female fans who love Parsons because he's a hunk and a horde of Washington Avenue bros who treasure him because he comes across as a frat boy tend to wildly overestimate his impact.
Morey's broken up the Brat Pack and already broken his pact with Dwight Howard.
But Parsons is still only 25 (the same age as Lin), still very capable of improving his game. That's much more than you can say for Ariza.
Parsons is also a big part of the reason Dwight Howard ended up in H-Town. Morey's broken up the Brat Pack and already broken his pact with Howard.
The Rockets are no longer a young team on the rise. Now they're already on the decline — without any accomplishments to show for it, not even a single playoff series win.
It'd be a surprise if Howard didn't decide to opt out of his four-year Rockets contract after three seasons now.
More money for Alexander, more Rockets problems.
Jeremy Lin's Impactful Loss
A scenario where Howard ends up back in Los Angeles in the summer of 2016 isn't even farfetched anymore. The big man benefited from plenty of passes from Lin, a point guard who excels at getting centers easy hoops (see Asik and Tyson Chandler for further confirmation).
A Lakers team with Kobe Bryant making his last stand alongside Howard and Lin under Coach Steve Nash could even be in play in 2016.
Daryl Morey had a worse weekend than Lionel Messi.
Other teams have the license to dream now. Daryl Morey deep sixed the Rockets' lofty visions.
What a bungled, botched and butchered summer. Unless it's all about Alexander's money.
The Rockets could have kept both Lin and Asik for one more season and still ended up with plenty of cap space next summer. They could have had Parsons for less than a million dollars (if Morey just picked up his fourth-year, rookie-contract option) and still let him walk next summer as an unrestricted free agent.
Instead, Morey loses them all. For nothing.
In the end, Jeremy Lin's loss will be felt hardest of all. But Parsons and his potential will hurt too. This whole wretched summer will leave a stink on the Rockets franchise for years to come.
More money (for Alexander), more Rockets problems.