Daryl Morey and the Houston Rockets did the most Moreyball thing ever on Thursday. They skipped the NBA Draft.
Houston went full Moreyball. They entered the NBA Draft with two picks and exited with no new salary cap commitments while retaining and gathering assets for the future.
By drafting a 19-year-old German who isn’t NBA ready and trading Dillon Brooks to the Grizzlies Houston hit the snooze button on the NBA Draft in favor of free agent pursuits and potential trades.
It was the right call.
With cap holds Houston sits just $2 million below the salary cap. This number was going to be four million before the Warriors bowled through every opponent while delivering a grim preview of the NBA’s potential next three seasons.
Taking on even an extra million dollars a season by signing a second round pick would have cinched a belt loop one slot tighter. And while Morey signed an undrafted player, as he’s deftly done for many years, he avoided the financial weight of another second round pick and turned it into a future second rounder.
Houston is far from clearing the space necessary to land one of their rumored free agent targets, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap and Kyle Lowry, but Dillon Brooks isn’t going to put them any closer. The Oregon alumnus also wasn’t going to swing a trade to unload Ryan Anderson’s near $20 million a year. Brooks’ contract would have only put them an inch further away.
So to avoid even the slightest setback to their flexibility Houston stashed an international player overseas, acquired a future pick for the one they didn’t want and they skipped the NBA Draft.
It was the most Daryl Morey move the Rockets could make.