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Daryl Morey hoping to position Rockets to be Warriors’ ‘toughest opponent’

Daryl Morey

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey and his incessant obsession with dethroning the Golden State Warriors has not stopped, even after a see-saw start to the season.

Brandishing a new beard in honor of James Harden’s 29-game-and-running streak of scoring 30 or more points in a game, the newly-bearded executive is hoping to position the Rockets to be the Warriors’ toughest opponent come playoff time.

Morey’s biggest acquisition after a series of trades before the deadline that brought him under the tax threshold, was forward Iman Shumpert — a capable two-way wing with the ability to take on the best player at the opposite end and nail the occasional 3-point bomb.

The Rockets also unloaded the salaries of James Ennis, Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight, as well as the previous swaps involving Carmelo Anthony and Michael Carter-Williams — roster-gutting at its most gruesome.

“[We were] also able to create flexibility for buyouts this year, to add players down the stretch and into the future as well,” Morey explained, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “It’s going to make it a lot easier to add players down the road.”

Houston was expected to be $14.6 million over the cap by the start of the season, now they sit $637,000 below the tax threshold — a phenomenal feat achieved thanks to an aggressive stead before the trade deadline, now positioning the Rockets to contend — with two open spots yet to be filled before the next two weeks.

“We feel like after a Golden State, we can compete with those teams,” Morey said. “We feel like with all these moves, we’ll be positioned to be their toughest opponent.”

Among them is free agent forward Markieff Morris, who the Rockets have had their eyes on since he was waived by the New Orleans Pelicans last week.