There’s plenty of uncertainty in the Houston Rockets’ camp following the departure of head coach Mike D’Antoni. But one thing that’s sure is owner Tilman Fertitta’s trust in general manager Daryl Morey.
There was some speculation that Morey might join D'Antoni out the door, but that won't be the case. Fertitta has already tasked the analytics-driven executive to select the team’s next head coach and expressed confidence that he will pick the right man to lead the team:
The future of the @HoustonRockets. Owner @TilmanJFertitta says GM @dmorey's job on the team is safe.@NBA pic.twitter.com/nWrXKN3zkp
— Power Lunch (@PowerLunch) September 15, 2020
Despite the most recent playoff debacle, Fertitta — who bought the Rockets for $2.2 billion in 2017 — still has faith in Morey. The Rockets general manager will embark on a quest for a new head coach after his team fell to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games in the second round of the playoffs.
Since joining them in 2007, the 48-year old Morey has turned the Rockets into a perennial playoff team. During his tenure, Houston has never had a losing season and has only missed the playoffs twice. The Rockets have had seven seasons with 50 or more wins under his watch, and they reached the Western Conference Finals in 2015 and 2018. Morey has had a hand in the Rockets’ deals to acquire star players like James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard, even winning Executive of the Year in 2018 after acquiring CP3.
Morey has a tough challenge ahead when it comes to picking the right man to replace D’Antoni, who in four seasons coached the Rockets to a 217-101 record, including a 28-23 record in the playoffs. Some of the candidates rumored to replace him include former Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, and current Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Sam Cassell.
Morey will also likely look to make some tweaks to this roster, with some believing he should look into a Russell Westbrook trade.