Rockets GM Daryl Morey, who recently signed a four-year extension, continues to work on large-scale moves after a quiet draft, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. On draft night, the Rockets had just one second-round pick and used it on Isaiah Hartenstein, who will remain overseas next season, Feigen tweets. The Rockets also traded their second-round pick, Dillon Brooks, to the Grizzlies for a second-round pick next season. Morey discussed his approach:
“We were very focused on two things, to get someone who can help us now and in the future. The second, we did a lot of potential discussions with teams that advanced a little bit today. Obviously, we’re focused on the team now, focused on chasing Golden State. Anything we can push in the future to help us upgrade the team, potentially through trade, we’re ready to do.”
The Rockets were discussing Paul George with the Pacers on Thursday and continue to do so, but nothing was considered close on draft day, per Feigen. The team was simultaneously having conversations directed at making cap room available if they needed it for an expensive free agent addition. Morey stated that the team was considering some deals to move into the first round of the draft, but the Rockets prioritized saving cap space to pursue big trades.
What else is going on in the Southwest division?:
- According to The Dallas Morning News, Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson is “fairly optimistic” the team can sign former Baylor power forward Johnathan Motley.
- The Mavericks’ top priority this offseason is not to snag unrestricted free agent Jrue Holiday, but rather to re-sign Nerlens Noel, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.
- Stein also tweets that the Mavs are focused on developing and cementing their core of Harrison Barnes, Nerlens Noel, Seth Curry, and now Dennis Smith Jr.
- The Mavs do not intend to exercise their team option on DeAndre Liggins, who was claimed on waivers during the last week of the season, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN (link via Twitter).
- MacMahon also tweets that the Mavs have informed Yogi Ferrell that they are picking up his team option for next season.