Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said that no uncertainty exists regarding the future of GM Daryl Morey in spite of a recent report that cast doubt on the matter, according to Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston (Twitter link). Alexander wasn’t 100% definitive in his remarks, but he appears to have given every indication that Morey’s job is safe.
“There is no uncertainty. Daryl is with the team,” Alexander said. “We evaluate everybody, but right now things aren’t changing.”
Marc Stein and Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com reported this past weekend that the team would take a hard look at Morey’s performance after the season. The GM is on a contract that runs until 2018, having signed an extension in 2013, but Houston slumped this year, qualifying for the playoffs on the last day of the regular season after making the Western Conference finals last year. The roster largely went unchanged over the summer, save for the ill-fated acquisition of point guard Ty Lawson, so the team’s poor performance has been baffling. A 4-7 start brought a sudden end to coach Kevin McHale‘s tenure less than a year after the Rockets signed McHale to an extension, but the team didn’t fare much better under interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff, compiling a 41-41 record overall.
Rumors of discord surrounded James Harden and Dwight Howard on multiple occasions this season, and the front office reportedly engaged other teams in trade talk about Howard. The Mavericks, Bulls, Hawks, Celtics, Hornets, Heat, Bucks and Raptors were among the teams with which Morey and company spoke, but Howard stayed put. The Rockets expect Howard to opt out this summer, though some doubt has arisen on that front.