According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, The Houston Rockets and general manager Daryl Morey have agreed to a five year extension.
The news came at a convenient time, with NBA Radio host Brian Geltzeiler tweeting out less than an hour earlier that Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta was “feverishly” cutting costs within the organization:
Hearing from league sources that Houston Rockets owner Tillman Fertitta is feverishly cutting costs in all facets of the Rockets operation. All departments have been instructed to drastically slash their budgets
— Brian Geltzeiler (@hoopscritic) March 13, 2019
That report was quickly disputed by ClutchFans owner Dave Hardisty. Citing two sources, Hardisty reported that the organization is denying Geltzeiler’s report. Mr. Fertitta himself pushed back on the report in the most 2019 way possible…on twitter.
Your an absolute fraud. Show me one item or person that has been touched.
— Tilman Fertitta (@TilmanJFertitta) March 13, 2019
It seems unlikely that Daryl Morey would sign an extension with a team that wasn’t willing to do what was necessary to be competitive. That is good news for Rockets fans who should feel reassured about the future of the franchise.
The 2018-19 season marks Daryl Morey’s 12th year as the general manager of the Rockets after serving one season as an assistant under Carrol Dawson. Morey’s time as GM can only be described as successful. Inheriting the reigns of an organization that had not been out of the first round of the playoffs in 10 years, the Rockets have made the Western Conference Finals twice in the last five seasons. The theme of Morey’s time with the Rockets has been his constant effort to improve the roster while maintaining flexibility. This has driven the Rockets to be one of the most active teams in trades in the NBA, much to the delight of fans on twitter and ClutchFans!
Perhaps the most impressive part of Morey’s time as GM has been his ability to keep the team competitive while transitioning between eras. Quickly after becoming the GM, Morey was forced to pivot when the Yao/McGrady era ended with injuries derailing the careers of his two superstars. While most teams go through extended rebuilds, Morey’s Rockets quickly retooled the roster without losing. After three years of competitive, but ultimately unimpressive rosters, Morey made his career defining move by acquiring James Harden prior to the 2012-13 NBA season. Since then the Rockets have built two Western Conference Finals teams around James, once with Dwight Howard and another with Chris Paul.
Daryl Morey has built one of the most competitive teams in the NBA here in Houston. He has done so despite inheriting a team with limited cap room and draft assets and without ever tearing the team down to tank. He has faced criticism along the way, particularly of his preferred brand of basketball, but there can be no question that Moreyball has proven successful in the NBA. Today the Rockets organization has once again shown faith and commitment in one of the most innovative general managers in recent memory.