Daryl Morey feels very good about Rockets winning the NBA title

Daryl Morey feels very good about Rockets winning the NBA title





Original Source


Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey is optimistic on his team’s ability to win the NBA championship this season with James Harden and Russell Westbrook, he said during an appearance on the Selfmade podcast with gaming pioneer Matthew Haag (known as Nadeshot).

In the podcast, which was released Thursday, the GM was asked whether the Rockets will win the NBA title in the 2019-20 season with Westbrook and Harden together.

“We feel very good about it, yeah,” Morey responded with a smile.

In the episode, Morey again downplayed reports of friction between James Harden and former Rockets guard Chris Paul prior to the trade. (Harden, the NBA’s 2018 MVP, has also pushed back on that angle.)

“Nothing happened,” Morey responded. “It was just an opportunity to get Russell .”

Along with draft picks, Paul was dealt to the Thunder in July for Westbrook, who averaged 22.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 10.7 assists in 36 minutes per game last season as Oklahoma City’s point guard.

Westbrook, the 2017 MVP, has now averaged a triple-double in each of the past three seasons. No NBA player had previously done that in even one season since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62.

“We’re excited,” Morey said, speaking of the Westbrook-Harden pairing. “We have two recent MVPs. That’s happened only four times in NBA history, where two MVPs are on the same team in a three-year span. Every time, that team has gone on to win the title. We’ll see if it works out for us.”

On the podcast, Morey also addressed how the blockbuster trade came to be and explained that he did not know of Westbrook’s availability until the day after Paul George’s surprising move to the Los Angeles Clippers.

“The move of Paul George to the Clippers, which then created the opportunity for Kawhi to go there… that came out of nowhere, at least for me,” Morey said. “We were going after Jimmy Butler . We weren’t really going after Kawhi, because for whatever reason he wasn’t really looking at our organization.”

Hagg then asked Morey if he knew immediately after the Paul George move that the Rockets would pursue Westbrook.

“It was more like, we don’t know what they’re going to do,” Morey said, speaking of Oklahoma City and whether the Thunder would be open to moving Westbrook after losing George.

“That was just a call the next day, which was like ‘Hey, you guys just made that trade, are you looking at a different direction?’ … “Because Russell is obviously someone, definitely not available and not even worth talking about. When we saw there was an opportunity, it was just, ‘How do you make it happen?’ ”

The complete podcast runs for over an hour, with discussions covering Morey’s entire tenure with the Rockets since first landing a job in Houston as assistant general manager in April 2006. Morey then succeeded Carroll Dawson as GM in May 2007.

Dating back to Morey’s first full season with Houston in 2006-07, the Rockets have the second-most wins of any team in the NBA and have won at least 53 games in five of the past six seasons. That includes a franchise-best 65-17 mark during the 2017-18 campaign.








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