Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors contributed to this post.
May 4th: The four year deal is now official, owner Leslie Alexander tells Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).
March 7th: The Rockets and general manager Daryl Morey have reached a verbal agreement on the key details of a four-year contract extension for Morey, Alexander tells Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston (Twitter link). Morey's current contract runs through 2013/14, so the new deal will lock him up for five years in total.
Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reported last month that Alexander was pleased with the job Morey has done with the Rockets, and that the team intended to extend the GM beyond his current contract.
"We’ll re-up him," Alexander said at the time. "Daryl knows that I judge him all the time. I’ve told him. He’s not shy about it either. He just knows that’s the way I operate. Why wouldn’t I? The general manager is the one person in your organization you can really judge. He can make good moves or bad moves. This year, I think he’s made three terrific moves."
In addition to acquiring James Harden in the fall's blockbuster trade with the Thunder, Morey also signed Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik to three-year contracts that have looked like good values so far. Even after agreeing to a max extension with Harden, the club has also managed to retain significant financial flexibility, and should have room for a max free agent this summer.
Morey has been the Rockets' GM since May 2007. Although Houston hasn't earned a postseason berth since 2008/09, the team has had a winning record every season during Morey's tenure (260-196 overall), as he managed to rebuild the roster without bottoming out.
A roundup of the latest news and notes from around the NBA on Tuesday evening:
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey's contract expires at the end of the 2013/14 season, but owner Leslie Alexander tells Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle that he plans to give Morey a contract extension.
“His contract is up next year, I believe,” Alexander said. “We’ll re-up him. Daryl knows that I judge him all the time. I’ve told him. He’s not shy about it either. He just knows that’s the way I operate. Why wouldn’t I? The general manager is the one person in your organization you can really judge. He can make good moves or bad moves. This year, I think he’s made three terrific moves.”
Morey had a successful offseason for the Rockets, signing Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik in free agency and pulling off a franchise-changing trade for James Harden. These moves have put Houston in position to compete for their first playoff berth since 2009.
In a letter to Royce White shortly after the rookie stopped attending games and practices in November, Rockets GM Daryl Morey recounted the back and forth that had taken place to that point and urged White to show up for work, "just like any other player." The letter also claims that before the Rockets drafted him 16th overall last June, White misled the team about his fear of flying, as Ben Golliver of SI.com reveals.
"To revisit from the beginning, before we drafted you, you told us that your fear of flying was not an issue and that you were ready to be an NBA player. Shortly after we drafted you, you apologized for having to mislead us," reads an excerpt of the letter.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle shares more from the letter. The information comes via advance copies of White's interview on HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," set to air Tuesday. The televised feature uncovers a document that White wrote along with his doctor stating that mental health should be treated as a medical condition. White wants to have it made as an addendum to his contract, but that would violate the terms of the CBA.
White also reportedly wants the team to hire a doctor who would assess him before each game to determine whether he's fit to play through his mental illnesses. He suffers from mental health issues including generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, as well as a fear of flying. White, who has yet to make his regular season debut, has been away from the team for more than two months. Houston coach Kevin McHale said before last night's game that he hasn't seen or spoken to White in more than a month.
The teams with the best records in the NBA are hosting the only two games on the schedule tonight, as the 21-6 Thunder, facing the Mavericks, will look to bounce back from a Christmas Day loss, while the 22-6 Clippers set sights on their 15th straight win with the Celtics in town. As we look forward to those contests, let's round up a few odds and ends from around the NBA:
The Rockets hold the unfortunate distinction of being the last team to fail to make the playoffs for three consecutive seasons. Not terrible, but not quite ready for the biggest of stages, the Rockets will turn to general manager Daryl Morey this offseason to make the necessary moves that will hopefully turn Houston into a legitimate contender for the long term, not just next season. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle explores how the Rockets may get past mediocrity as they face uncertainty heading into free agency.