Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey joins Bleacher Report's Howard Beck on The Full 48 podcast to discuss the NBA's potential draft reform, tanking and his team's acquisition of superstar point guard Chris Paul.
The two also discuss Hurricane Harvey and how the Clutch City community has rallied and contributed to help throughout drastic times of need.
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On a potential draft reform
"One of [the league office's] jobs is to set the tone, set the message, set the communication, and the reality is that right now their rules and structures that have been set up extraordinarily cause teams to sit around internally and talk about 'hey, it's so important that we have a top-level player.' One of the very reliable—in fact, most reliable ways is to be a very bad team.
"And it's bad that people sit around and say 'hey, let's figure ways to get a top player—and oh, by the way, losing and doing exactly what is not really'...we should be talking about how do we win.
"And then on top of that, there's a real free-rider problem here in that if a team chooses to go for this top athlete that you can get in the league, which is a high pick in this league, they then start to live on the teams that are coming into their city to sell tickets versus their own team to sell tickets."
On tanking as a league-wide concern
"Here's the bottom line. Teams have to go through cycles ...
"What you want to have, though, is that when a team is in its rebuilding cycle, which every team goes through—we went through it after Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady ... —you don't want them to sit around the table and be dreaming of ways. 'It's not good enough to only win 25 games, to actually get the best odds, we have to win 15 games. So we gotta maybe have a terrible point guard, maybe have a going-away Hall of Famer' ...
"It's just bad for the league that a team in a rebuilding cycle has to think about 'maybe I won't sign a free agent because oh my goodness that might win us a few extra games,' and 'oh gosh and then we'll have worse odds to get us this transcendent player.'
"When you're down in that rebuilding trough, you shouldn't have to dream up ways to be even s--ttier so that you can get the odds at a top player."
On the lottery reform giving teams more incentive
"It's definitely increased the incentive to maybe potentially miss the playoffs. But the reality is, you're looking at a real trade off there.
"When you're a 25-win team and you're unfortunately having to dream up ways to get even worse, there's no trade off. Like, no one's coming to your games anyway, right? Because you're rebuilding and you're in a tough environment already. There's literally no downside to dreaming up more ways ... you want the tanking choice to be where there's a trade off."
On teams reacting to the trade reform
"I think they'll all choose the playoffs.
"We have teams in the NBA who haven't made the playoffs in, like, 15 years right now. So making the playoffs is going to look really good to most of them."
On the Rockets contending vs. the Warriors
"I'd say we feel much better. We went from feeling not so good, which I think 29 teams in the league should feel like considering the Warriors obviously are the class of the league, to feeling spunky.
"We're feeling like if we can pull this together, get our habits right on offense and defense, execute, that we can give one of the best teams of all time a very, very good series."