For much of the offseason, it seemed that the Rockets were in the driver's seat to land Dwight Howard, armed with a handful of recent first-round picks, a few future first-rounders, and the cap space to absorb plenty of bad contracts from the Magic. But even after the Nets fell out of the running for Howard, it was the Lakers, not the Rockets that landed the All-Star center. Rockets GM Daryl Morey recently appeared on KBME in Houston and spoke to Matt Jackson about the Howard deal and the Rockets' own roster as the 2012/13 season approaches. Here are a few highlights, courtesy of Sports Radio Interviews:
On whether he felt the Rockets were close to acquiring Howard:
"I do, yeah. I do feel like it was close but they did their diligence and they were searching for something they thought they liked even more and they liked this trade better than anything we could offer. I promise you [Magic GM] Rob [Hennigan] knows what he’s doing and he thought this was best for Orlando and I think people will see over time that he’s a very good executive."
"I haven’t seen Rob’s comments. I think those deals were done for a while now, so that would surprise me, but really the only opinion that matters is Rob’s. If he felt like that made it difficult, then it was difficult, right? At the end of the day, he has the player that he was trading that everyone wanted and there are a whole host of things that either made it positive or more difficult for them and how they value things."
On whether there are more moves coming before the offseason is over*:
“I think there’s a couple of free agents that we’re talking to and I don’t know if anything will work out but we’re very comfortable with what we have and rolling into training camp with that. We think it will be a team that can fight for a playoff spot but we’re always aggressive to try to do more and I think people know that. If something comes along we will do it, but really the reason why we’re comfortable with where we are at is if you look from one to 15, up and down the roster, it’s either a player who has got upside, who gives us flexibility to have cap room or we have the ability to, with the draft picks we picked up from Toronto and Dallas and those teams, the ability to trade for something. But we’re going to be patient and it takes two to tango. It’s gotta be where what we have is a fit with other teams."