Rockets GM Daryl Morey explains why Houston pursued Jimmy Butler despite longshot odds to land him
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey explained his propensity to reach for hard-to-attain goals as an executive in the league. The Rockets have been big swingers since Morey entered the fold, first scooping up James Harden as he was coming into his own with the Oklahoma City Thunder, then nabbing Dwight Howard, then Chris Paul last offseason in a wild trade with the LA Clippers to form their current All-Star backcourt.
Now their eyes center on an estranged Jimmy Butler.
Despite landing Carmelo Anthony a season after they first tried to pull off a trade with the New York Knicks to snag him, the Rockets are thirsty for doing what they do: amassing as much talent as possible and finding a way to make it work.
Morey talked to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski about the reason for his unrelenting desire to stockpile talent when available.
Wojnarowski: It’s hard for you to sit things out, isn’t it? If someone’s available or something’s out there, it’s hard for you to go, ‘Eh.’
Morey: We don’t. We sit nothing out. Let’s just be clear, like, we — maybe that’s stupid. Maybe there’s some downside to that. There probably is. But if there’s someone we say can help us, even if it’s, like, one in 100 odds, we feel like it’s our job, to your point, to run those ground balls out and get thrown out at first. And even though Lucy keeps pulling the football, we’re going to still go up there and try and kick it every time.
The general manager job is one that requires knocking on every door, no matter whether it is a friendly one or one that has never been knocked on before. The Rockets have a harder route than most other teams in trying to acquire Butler, given their salary cap predicaments after signing Paul to a four-year, $160 million contract and rewarding center Clint Capela with a big extension.
But it’s likely Morey will shoot his shot once again when the trade deadline comes around, hoping to make desperation his best friend.