Why this is the most important offseason for the Rockets in over a decade
As a franchise, 2012 was a pivotal offseason for the Houston Rockets. After failing to make the playoffs three years in a row, there was mounting pressure on GM Daryl Morey to turn this rudderless team into one with direction. And he'd been pretty vocal about how he intended to achieve that:
Morey in 2010: “The reality is, you need a guy like Yao Ming to win the title,”
Long-time Rockets fans know that this has been a consistent mantra for Morey: you needed stars to win.
Morey in 2014: "If you talked to Red Auerbach, who I had the good fortune of working with for a couple of years in Boston, he would say, 'Hey, it's all about getting the top players in the league and treating them well.”
Following Yao Ming’s retirement, the Rockets had unsuccessfully gone after Josh Smith, Chris Bosh, Chris Paul, Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Steve Nash, Nenê Hilario, and Pau Gasol.
By 2012, it felt like Houston had reached a breaking point. They essentially told the world, “We're either landing a star this summer or we're blowing it up”. To start, they parted ways with Kyle Lowry, Chase Budinger, Samuel Dalembert, Marcus Camby, and Luis Scola in exchange for draft compensation and cap room. Now armed with max cap space and a collection of team-friendly contracts to trade, it was clear that Morey had the organizational sign-off to go star chasing with a high level of aggression.
After failed pursuits of Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, and Andre Drummond, they finally got their guy in James Harden right before the season started.
It was the most important offseason for the organization since they drafted Yao Ming a decade earlier. Just 11 years later, the Rockets have reached a similarly important moment.
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