Houston Rockets Rumors: GM Daryl Morey Wise to Remain Idle at Trade Deadline
To put it simply, Morey is wise to remain idle at the trade deadline.
Morey has had a busy calendar year. He traded Kyle Lowry and Marcus Camby in July, signed Jeremy Lin shortly thereafter and proceeded to shock the league by acquiring James Harden via trade in October.
Even as he considers adding another star to the mix, it appears as if Morey is saving any other tricks he has up his sleeve for free agency.
"Most likely, [acquiring another star is] not going to be through trade," Morey told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday. "Most likely, it's going to be through the use of our cap room where we have max room this summer.
"I think (the time between now and the deadline) is going to be quiet. Of course a year ago, if you would've said, 'James Harden—what about him?' I would've said, 'No way. They won't trade him.' You never know. You stay opportunistic. But I would guess that this trade deadline is going to be quiet."
Even as the Rockets compete for a playoff spot, this is the only rational move to make.
Houston is 29-26 and rapidly emerging as one of the NBA's true offensive powerhouses. With that said, its porous defense is far from the only area they need improvement to become a title contender.
With youth abundant and veterans at a minimum, it would take much more than one star to lead the Rockets to a push for a championship in 2013.
Developing Harden's Superstar Status
Harden has 43 games and three years of postseason experience. In that time, he has made two Western Conference Finals appearances and most recently appeared in the 2012 NBA Finals with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
With that said, Harden has never been "the man" on his team—in Houston, performing in the postseason will be an entirely different animal.
Harden has embraced his role as the go-to player for everything positive. Whether that's providing a scoring spark or stepping up as a facilitator, Harden has been the true star in Houston.
So why stunt that growth when Harden is just reaching star legitimacy?
Harden is currently averaging 26.1 points, 5.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game. He's also posting a Player Efficiency Rating of 23.36.
Harden ranks in the top five by position in each of those categories—so why disrupt the confidence-building that is individual stardom?
The Only Positive Move
As it presently stands, the only rational trade would be to acquire a rim-protecting big man. This could lead some to believe that Josh Smith is the player for the job.
With that said, Morey can acquire Smith this offseason without giving up a single one of the players currently on the roster.
If a deal came about that would see a reliable shot blocker for a minimal cost, however, Morey should be champing at the bit. It would not only improve his 29th-ranked scoring defense but lessen the defensive pressure on his perimeter.
If that option isn't available, however, Morey is wise to stand pat—as if we actually believe he doesn't have a surprise waiting in the balance.
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