Monday, March 19, 2012

Stop Blaming Daryl Morey

Allow me the opportunity to attempt the impossible -- to insert some logic into the world of sports.

The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and the number of people who are calling for Daryl Morey’s head on a stick has grown exponentially.

One can dream.
Let me break it down for you right quick. We unloaded a trash player in Jordan Hill for Derek Fisher (who was never going to stay on the roster anyway) and a 1st round draft pick. Please join me in celebrating that we actually got a non-moving pick (pun intended) for Hill. We packaged Jonny Flynn and Hasheem Thabeet for Marcus Camby, who will do two things even at his old age: shore up the interior of our defense and open up a roster spot for Marcus Morris. All signs point to us squeaking into the playoffs this year, and Camby is a quality big on a team desperate for size. Oh, and by the way, his salary comes off the books in a few months.

Look, I get it, people -- nobody likes a mediocre team. If a team isn’t built to “win now,” everyone wants to rebuild, but what does that even mean? Tank for a high draft pick? Unload albatross contracts to open cap space for the offseason? With so many terrible general managers all over the country, it truly pains me to see Daryl Morey become a scapegoat for this 24-22 team when we should all be pointing our fingers at David Stern.
My thoughts exactly.
In case you hadn’t heard three months ago, the NBA commissioner vetoed a 3-team trade between the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Hornets, and Houston Rockets before the start of the 2011-2012 regular season. Without going into the millions of reasons why Stern is a cowardly idiot for doing so, let’s revisit that proposed trade that dozens of NBA execs spent hundreds of hours negotiating:

Lakers receive: Chris Paul
Hornets receive: Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic, 2012 first round draft pick (from Knicks)
Rockets receive: Pau Gasol

When news of this trade went viral, reactions in Houston were mixed. Some were ecstatic we finally got a household name. Others (see: me) were devastated because they hate Pau Gasol with a passion and could never see themselves cheering for him. But no matter how difficult it might’ve been for me to cope with seeing Pau in a Rockets jersey, today’s NBA is starving for legitimate big men, and you just don’t pass up the most-skilled 7-footer in the game out of spite.

I admire Luis Scola’s work ethic, and I still reminisce about when Kevin Martin was one of my top ten favorite players, but Morey saw the writing on the wall with these two and sold them high.

Scola is what he is -- an undersized power forward who can do two things really well: shoot the midrange J and scoop right-handed layups like his life depended on it. I would love him on a team with a dominant low-post presence, but as the #1 option in the paint, he’s fool's gold. He might average 18/8, but the numbers don’t show how horrendous he is on defense. Even during his best year in the NBA in 2011, Scola had a PER of 18.43 which was good for 18th in the league, while Gasol finished 3rd at 23.52.

Kevin Martin, meanwhile, has gone from scoring 24 points/game to 17 since last season. The main reason? The NBA altered its emphasis on shooting fouls, which has led to KMart shooting less free throws (8.4 free throws per game vs 4.5) and more bricks (43.6% FG shooting vs 41.3%). All in all, Martin has become expendable, and his trade value has dropped through the floor.

Let’s also not forget that Nene was a free agent this past summer. I am convinced that signing Nene was all but a certainty after acquiring Gasol.

To sum it all up, instead of the 8-man rotation we’ve seen this year:

PG - Kyle Lowry
SG - Kevin Martin
SF - Chandler Parsons
PF - Luis Scola
C - Samuel Dalembert
Bench - Goran Dragic
Bench - Patrick Patterson
Bench - Courtney Lee

We would’ve likely gone to war with this one:

PG - Kyle Lowry
SG - Courtney Lee
SF - Chandler Parsons
PF - Nene
C - Pau Gasol
Bench - Jeremy Lin
Bench - Patrick Patterson
Bench - Chase Budinger

But hey, David Stern felt guilty for screwing the Rockets over and threw us a bone -- the privilege of hosting his NBA All-Star weekend next year. Yippee ki-yay, Commissioner.

Photos courtesy of SBNation and BallHyped.


Let's go to the celebrity game next year

Waiting for the invite from the NBA.

How do you like Morey these days ?

You know what, you should make a youtube video called "Leave Morey alone". You could get some inspiration from here:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...