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Discerning Morey’s Philosophy 5.2

Much was said over the course of the Trevor Ariza saga.  It was assumed that the former Laker was signed as an heir apparent, the new “go-to” option for the Rockets, despite Daryl Morey’s many statements to the contrary.  Now it’s being posited, even accepted as truth, that Ariza’s exile was an admission of mistake or a straight salary dump. It’s difficult to even find a starting point to expose the flaws in this logic.

As we know, the four-team trade landed guard Courtney Lee with the Rockets, and as has been established in the past week, while limited in potential, he’s pretty good.  Why was it, or is it, so hard to believe that Daryl Morey simply liked Courtney Lee, regardless of his thoughts on Trevor Ariza?  We can see that the former is a great fit on this team.  Why is the trade taken as an indictment of the initial Ariza signing or an indication of regret?

Daryl Morey’s feelings about Courtney Lee do not bear definitive deductions about his opinion on Trevor Ariza.  It’s completely possible that Morey was perfectly content with Ariza, after his post-Martin transformation, but simply preferred Lee as a player.  Why is that so far-fetched?

In addition, it was propagated by most media outlets that the trade was simply a cost-cutting maneuver to assist the bottom line.  This one is even easier to debunk: the rumored trade for Carmelo Anthony would have required use of the traded player exception created from that swap.  The Rockets clearly intend to re-invest those savings.

When you trade a player, it doesn’t somehow mean that you regret the initial signing or that you no longer value the player.  The only definite conclusion that can be drawn is that you place a higher value upon the other player.  So why are so many assumptions projected upon the Ariza-Lee trade?  The Rockets may or may not have been dissatisfied with Trevor Ariza – we don’t know.  All we know for sure is that they valued Courtney Lee more.

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

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Discerning Morey’s Philosophy 5.1

In parts 1 and 2, I explored Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey's transactional history, hoping to draw conclusions from...