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Should the Rockets Be a Model for Our Rebuild?
« on: January 29, 2013, 12:25:23 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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Daryl Morey has received a lot of skepticism and criticism over the past 4-5 years for his strategy in rebuilding the Rockets. 

In essence, contrary to the conventional wisdom of tanking for high draft picks (i.e. the "OKC plan"), Morey chose to field a reasonably competitive team without compromising the future.  He sought to build up assets, even though he was consistently drafting at the end of the lottery.  He's been aggressive the past few years trying to trade for stars like Pau Gasol, Carmelo Anthony, and most notably Dwight Howard, striking out in all instances ("basketball reasons"). 

Still, his persistence paid off and now he has a franchise star (Harden) and a talented, young supporting cast that is only going to get better (Lin, Parsons, Asik, Morris, Patterson, etc).

The Rockets aren't contenders yet, but they appear to be one complimentary piece away (a #2 scorer, probably at PF).  Morey should be the favorite for Executive of the Year this season for the fabulous job he's done turning the Rockets into an exciting competitive team after mostly blowing up the roster this off-season.


So the question I have is:

Should Danny Ainge try to follow this model in rebuilding the Celtics?  Can we as fans remain patient through multiple years of borderline-lottery finishes and seemingly non-sensical amassing of assets (e.g. how the Rockets often have a major surplus of point guards and power forwards)?

I think it's an interesting question.  Is the "Morey plan" one that can be replicated, or did Daryl get lucky?  I think this plan would seem to be more palatable to ownership, since it would mean the team would try to stay quasi-competitive.  However, there's a difference between this plan and an "instant reload" plan which would entail immediately using cap space to pick up second tier free agents to put around Rondo and try to field a top 10 team pretty much right away.  The Morey plan involves amassing assets but not spending money or making trades for quick fixes.

There's some question whether this plan could work in the Eastern conference, since those Rockets teams of the last few years would have made the playoffs pretty much every season and wouldn't have gotten lottery picks.


In any case, I think it's worth discussing.  This and similar questions will be crucial in the next few months as the team determines how it's going to proceed as the Pierce / KG era wraps up.
Quote from: BBallTim
Parker isn't going to score 30 ppg and rebuilds generally take longer than 1 year. Relax.

Re: Should the Rockets Be a Model for Our Rebuild?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 12:36:34 PM »

Online pearljammer10

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I dont know. Trade or amnesty all of our players, get a bunch of young guys, then overplay mediocre players to max deals?

Houston has a good start to the year but seem to be fading a tad. Regardless I dont really see them contending anytime soon... Heck, they are pretty exciting to watch though.

Re: Should the Rockets Be a Model for Our Rebuild?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 12:42:43 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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I dont know. Trade or amnesty all of our players, get a bunch of young guys, then overplay mediocre players to max deals?

Houston has a good start to the year but seem to be fading a tad. Regardless I dont really see them contending anytime soon... Heck, they are pretty exciting to watch though.

Overpay players to max deals?  Who are you thinking of?

The Rockets haven't done that at all.  Indeed, they've avoided doing that for the sake of immediate improvement.

The deals they gave to Lin and Asik, you'll recall, are spread evenly out over the length of the contract.  And they are actually fair value for what those players are giving them, all things considered.


I don't think the Morey plan would go as you describe.  Instead, it would involve either trading Pierce and Garnett, or letting them retire, and then continuing to try and be competitive but avoiding paying a premium for free agents.  We'd look to build a team around Rondo but the main plan, similar to what Ainge did prior to the KG / Allen trades, would be to amass assets. 

That means giving reasonable mid-level contracts to guys like Courtney Lee is fine.  You just want them to be moveable deals.  So you try to avoid deals like the one they gave to Jeff Green, or the one they gave to Jason Terry.

Most importantly the difference between the Morey plan and the "OKC plan" is that you don't get trade away veteran players for picks and prospects just for the sake of getting worse in the short term.  You try to get the maximum value out of the picks and free agents you do sign, and you value young talent more than old.  But you also make an effort to construct a viable roster.  You try to avoid the chaos and dysfunction of a team comprised almost entirely of young players all vying for playing time (e.g. a team like the Kings or Magic).

I'm sure a guy like Rahat Huq (who runs Red94, an excellent Rockets fansite), could better explain the Morey philosophy.  He's written a number of posts about it.
Quote from: BBallTim
Parker isn't going to score 30 ppg and rebuilds generally take longer than 1 year. Relax.

Re: Should the Rockets Be a Model for Our Rebuild?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 12:43:58 PM »

Offline BballTim

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Daryl Morey has received a lot of skepticism and criticism over the past 4-5 years for his strategy in rebuilding the Rockets. 

In essence, contrary to the conventional wisdom of tanking for high draft picks (i.e. the "OKC plan"), Morey chose to field a reasonably competitive team without compromising the future.  He sought to build up assets, even though he was consistently drafting at the end of the lottery.  He's been aggressive the past few years trying to trade for stars like Pau Gasol, Carmelo Anthony, and most notably Dwight Howard, striking out in all instances ("basketball reasons"). 

Still, his persistence paid off and now he has a franchise star (Harden) and a talented, young supporting cast that is only going to get better (Lin, Parsons, Asik, Morris, Patterson, etc).

The Rockets aren't contenders yet, but they appear to be one complimentary piece away (a #2 scorer, probably at PF).  Morey should be the favorite for Executive of the Year this season for the fabulous job he's done turning the Rockets into an exciting competitive team after mostly blowing up the roster this off-season.


So the question I have is:

Should Danny Ainge try to follow this model in rebuilding the Celtics?

  One could argue that, by and large, the plan you described is the one that Danny followed to turn the Celts into contenders.

Re: Should the Rockets Be a Model for Our Rebuild?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 12:45:28 PM »

Offline CelticsFan9

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Eh, I'm not comfortable having a team with 10 billion PFs.

In all seriousness, I think Morey's done a good job for the most part.  He has spent time stockpiling picks, and then used assets to gain a star.  Don't forget he was able to attain lots of cap room, despite wasting it on two guys who are grossly overpaid (Lin moreso than Asik).

I wouldn't mind Danny trying to reload either, though.  I just don't think we have the pieces to do it.

Re: Should the Rockets Be a Model for Our Rebuild?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2013, 12:46:01 PM »

Offline Evantime34

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Daryl Morey has received a lot of skepticism and criticism over the past 4-5 years for his strategy in rebuilding the Rockets. 

In essence, contrary to the conventional wisdom of tanking for high draft picks (i.e. the "OKC plan"), Morey chose to field a reasonably competitive team without compromising the future.  He sought to build up assets, even though he was consistently drafting at the end of the lottery.  He's been aggressive the past few years trying to trade for stars like Pau Gasol, Carmelo Anthony, and most notably Dwight Howard, striking out in all instances ("basketball reasons"). 

Still, his persistence paid off and now he has a franchise star (Harden) and a talented, young supporting cast that is only going to get better (Lin, Parsons, Asik, Morris, Patterson, etc).

The Rockets aren't contenders yet, but they appear to be one complimentary piece away (a #2 scorer, probably at PF).  Morey should be the favorite for Executive of the Year this season for the fabulous job he's done turning the Rockets into an exciting competitive team after mostly blowing up the roster this off-season.


So the question I have is:

Should Danny Ainge try to follow this model in rebuilding the Celtics?

  One could argue that, by and large, the plan you described is the one that Danny followed to turn the Celts into contenders.
I clicked on the thread with every intention of making that argument, but you beat me to it.
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Re: Should the Rockets Be a Model for Our Rebuild?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2013, 12:50:28 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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Daryl Morey has received a lot of skepticism and criticism over the past 4-5 years for his strategy in rebuilding the Rockets. 

In essence, contrary to the conventional wisdom of tanking for high draft picks (i.e. the "OKC plan"), Morey chose to field a reasonably competitive team without compromising the future.  He sought to build up assets, even though he was consistently drafting at the end of the lottery.  He's been aggressive the past few years trying to trade for stars like Pau Gasol, Carmelo Anthony, and most notably Dwight Howard, striking out in all instances ("basketball reasons"). 

Still, his persistence paid off and now he has a franchise star (Harden) and a talented, young supporting cast that is only going to get better (Lin, Parsons, Asik, Morris, Patterson, etc).

The Rockets aren't contenders yet, but they appear to be one complimentary piece away (a #2 scorer, probably at PF).  Morey should be the favorite for Executive of the Year this season for the fabulous job he's done turning the Rockets into an exciting competitive team after mostly blowing up the roster this off-season.


So the question I have is:

Should Danny Ainge try to follow this model in rebuilding the Celtics?

  One could argue that, by and large, the plan you described is the one that Danny followed to turn the Celts into contenders.

I think you're right that it is quite similar.  And if I'm not mistaken, Morey did work for the Celtics prior to joining the Rockets, right?

I imagine there are some philosophical differences between what Morey did and what Danny did in the mid-00's, though.  I'd have to look at it more closely.

Also, like I said, I've read talk that the Celtics may be looking to transition immediately into another phase of being competitive by building quickly around Rondo instead of a measured / disciplined rebuild.  Maybe that just means doing something like what I'm talking about.  Or maybe it means trying to avoid a "rebuild" altogether and nailing down a competitive core much more quickly.

If it's the latter, that sounds like a bad idea to me.
Quote from: BBallTim
Parker isn't going to score 30 ppg and rebuilds generally take longer than 1 year. Relax.

Re: Should the Rockets Be a Model for Our Rebuild?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2013, 12:52:07 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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Eh, I'm not comfortable having a team with 10 billion PFs.

In all seriousness, I think Morey's done a good job for the most part.  He has spent time stockpiling picks, and then used assets to gain a star.  Don't forget he was able to attain lots of cap room, despite wasting it on two guys who are grossly overpaid (Lin moreso than Asik).

I wouldn't mind Danny trying to reload either, though.  I just don't think we have the pieces to do it.

Well, I don't think Danny could "reload" like that right away.  It took Morey a lot of time, as you say, getting to the point where he could do that.  Following this strategy would require patience.  Faith in the process ("In Danny we trust") even as the team finishes between 8th and 10th place in the East for a handful of seasons.
Quote from: BBallTim
Parker isn't going to score 30 ppg and rebuilds generally take longer than 1 year. Relax.

Re: Should the Rockets Be a Model for Our Rebuild?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2013, 12:57:27 PM »

Offline CelticsFan9

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Eh, I'm not comfortable having a team with 10 billion PFs.

In all seriousness, I think Morey's done a good job for the most part.  He has spent time stockpiling picks, and then used assets to gain a star.  Don't forget he was able to attain lots of cap room, despite wasting it on two guys who are grossly overpaid (Lin moreso than Asik).

I wouldn't mind Danny trying to reload either, though.  I just don't think we have the pieces to do it.

Well, I don't think Danny could "reload" like that right away.  It took Morey a lot of time, as you say, getting to the point where he could do that.  Following this strategy would require patience.  Faith in the process ("In Danny we trust") even as the team finishes between 8th and 10th place in the East for a handful of seasons.

I really believe if Rondo can come back better than before (this is a longshot) and turn into one of the few transcendent players in the NBA, we could be able to reload and go for another run.

If we do take the "Morey Way" (or Danny Way), I'm pretty comfortable with that, as long as Rondo is okay with limited playoff success for the majority of his prime.

Re: Should the Rockets Be a Model for Our Rebuild?
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2013, 01:05:36 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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Eh, I'm not comfortable having a team with 10 billion PFs.

In all seriousness, I think Morey's done a good job for the most part.  He has spent time stockpiling picks, and then used assets to gain a star.  Don't forget he was able to attain lots of cap room, despite wasting it on two guys who are grossly overpaid (Lin moreso than Asik).

I wouldn't mind Danny trying to reload either, though.  I just don't think we have the pieces to do it.

Well, I don't think Danny could "reload" like that right away.  It took Morey a lot of time, as you say, getting to the point where he could do that.  Following this strategy would require patience.  Faith in the process ("In Danny we trust") even as the team finishes between 8th and 10th place in the East for a handful of seasons.

I really believe if Rondo can come back better than before (this is a longshot) and turn into one of the few transcendent players in the NBA, we could be able to reload and go for another run.

If we do take the "Morey Way" (or Danny Way), I'm pretty comfortable with that, as long as Rondo is okay with limited playoff success for the majority of his prime.

I guess that's kind of the issue with any rebuild plan.

By the time Rondo is back from this injury, he'll be 27.  That means unless the team can truly reload in less than 3 years, Rondo will be 30+ before the team is even starting to get competitive again.

Perhaps Rondo's game will age well.  I don't know; I have my doubts.  But it would be a shame to see Rondo spend his late 20s on a team that has little chance of going deep into the playoffs.

Of course, following the Morey plan would by no means preclude trading Rondo for multiple pieces.  But that's another discussion.
Quote from: BBallTim
Parker isn't going to score 30 ppg and rebuilds generally take longer than 1 year. Relax.

Re: Should the Rockets Be a Model for Our Rebuild?
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2013, 01:13:47 PM »

Offline D.o.s.

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The other thing to consider is that all those "bad" Post Yao, Post TMac Rockets teams usually finished the season with a winning record--which would almost certainly get them into the playoffs in the East.
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Re: Should the Rockets Be a Model for Our Rebuild?
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2013, 01:21:38 PM »

Offline CelticsFan9

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Eh, I'm not comfortable having a team with 10 billion PFs.

In all seriousness, I think Morey's done a good job for the most part.  He has spent time stockpiling picks, and then used assets to gain a star.  Don't forget he was able to attain lots of cap room, despite wasting it on two guys who are grossly overpaid (Lin moreso than Asik).

I wouldn't mind Danny trying to reload either, though.  I just don't think we have the pieces to do it.

Well, I don't think Danny could "reload" like that right away.  It took Morey a lot of time, as you say, getting to the point where he could do that.  Following this strategy would require patience.  Faith in the process ("In Danny we trust") even as the team finishes between 8th and 10th place in the East for a handful of seasons.

I really believe if Rondo can come back better than before (this is a longshot) and turn into one of the few transcendent players in the NBA, we could be able to reload and go for another run.

If we do take the "Morey Way" (or Danny Way), I'm pretty comfortable with that, as long as Rondo is okay with limited playoff success for the majority of his prime.

I guess that's kind of the issue with any rebuild plan.

By the time Rondo is back from this injury, he'll be 27.  That means unless the team can truly reload in less than 3 years, Rondo will be 30+ before the team is even starting to get competitive again.

Perhaps Rondo's game will age well.  I don't know; I have my doubts.  But it would be a shame to see Rondo spend his late 20s on a team that has little chance of going deep into the playoffs.

Of course, following the Morey plan would by no means preclude trading Rondo for multiple pieces.  But that's another discussion.

I wouldn't rule out Danny trading Rondo next year, even if KG and Pierce come back.  If Rondo's playing well enough, I could see him try to grab a good shooting PG and serviceable big for Rondo.  Rondo throws himself around the court a lot, and that kind of play can lead to multiple injuries, no less a torn ACL.

Re: Should the Rockets Be a Model for Our Rebuild?
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2013, 01:25:01 PM »

Offline Fafnir

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I wouldn't rule out Danny trading Rondo next year, even if KG and Pierce come back.  If Rondo's playing well enough, I could see him try to grab a good shooting PG and serviceable big for Rondo.  Rondo throws himself around the court a lot, and that kind of play can lead to multiple injuries, no less a torn ACL.
I would, Danny will probably approach it similar to he did with Pierce. He'll consider moving Rondo, but it'd be to get a young player who he thinks will be a star.

The prime example of this is the proposed Paul Pierce to Portland for their pick and Nick van Excel (who was expiring iirc).

Re: Should the Rockets Be a Model for Our Rebuild?
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2013, 01:30:37 PM »

Offline CelticsFan9

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I wouldn't rule out Danny trading Rondo next year, even if KG and Pierce come back.  If Rondo's playing well enough, I could see him try to grab a good shooting PG and serviceable big for Rondo.  Rondo throws himself around the court a lot, and that kind of play can lead to multiple injuries, no less a torn ACL.
I would, Danny will probably approach it similar to he did with Pierce. He'll consider moving Rondo, but it'd be to get a young player who he thinks will be a star.

The prime example of this is the proposed Paul Pierce to Portland for their pick and Nick van Excel (who was expiring iirc).

Well, with the plethora of talented guards in the league, I'm sure Danny could find someone who has star potential.  If he were to trade Rondo, it would probably be near the trade deadline next year.

Re: Should the Rockets Be a Model for Our Rebuild?
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2013, 01:32:48 PM »

Offline Fafnir

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I wouldn't rule out Danny trading Rondo next year, even if KG and Pierce come back.  If Rondo's playing well enough, I could see him try to grab a good shooting PG and serviceable big for Rondo.  Rondo throws himself around the court a lot, and that kind of play can lead to multiple injuries, no less a torn ACL.
I would, Danny will probably approach it similar to he did with Pierce. He'll consider moving Rondo, but it'd be to get a young player who he thinks will be a star.

The prime example of this is the proposed Paul Pierce to Portland for their pick and Nick van Excel (who was expiring iirc).

Well, with the plethora of talented guards in the league, I'm sure Danny could find someone who has star potential.  If he were to trade Rondo, it would probably be near the trade deadline next year.
More likely near the draft.

 

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