So the 76ers were trying to steal away Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey

Umm, what the hell. As reported by Marc Stein, early Monday evening, this was one of those bombs that so comes out of left field for the unsuspecting Twitter user scrolling down one’s feed anticipating some update on Marcus Smart’s contract negotiations or something similarly innocuous, that said user must recollect one’s thoughts and consider pulling over.

It was just last off-season of course when word broke that Les Alexander desired to sell the team, a revelation that sent shockwaves throughout the Internets. But while an ownership swap primarily has implications upon willingness to spend (which, ahem, we might be seeing manifest itself right now, allegedly), losing Morey would have been a near fatal blow to the team. He’s up there with James Harden as the franchise’s most valuable asset. They might still have stars, but if they lost their general manager, you can forget about annually filling out the roster with quality role players.

I think Daryl will move on eventually, to bigger and better things. He’s basically a celebrity amongst his peers and has sort of validated himself against the criticisms of his approach. A title would have done wonders there. But its tough to see him sticking around after James Harden moves on, particularly now that the team has reached the apex that it currently enjoys. Does he have the stomach for another rebuilding effort, taking into consideration the painful years endured to eventually acquire James Harden? Because the Harden trade was the triggering point when Morey’s fortunes completely changed; it was his defining moment, to date.

Who knows what the current situation entails. The commentariat has taken the position that the Rockets are being cheap, a change of course reflective of ownership. True or not, the reputational implications are damning. I, thus far, am of the opinion that they are simply exercising prudence. Trevor Ariza at $15 million was a gross overpay; Clint Capela is restricted. The jury is still out on the Luc Mbah a Moute decision, but I would have thought using the midlevel for retention of his services was a foregone conclusion. I was wrong. We will see how the Rockets use the monies instead. Had Daryl been successfully pried away, it might’ve offered a glimpse behind the curtain as to what the hell is really going on with these decisions.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of Red94.net.

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