Daryl Morey Discusses Draft Night
Rockets General Manager talks about the team's three first round selections
Immediately following Thursday night's draft, Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey met with the Houston media to recap the evening. What follows are some of the highlights from his press conference. Check out the embedded video to view the entire session.
Morey On Jeremy Lamb: He can score the ball, smart, high basketball IQ, great shooter.
On Royce White: Really one of the more unique players to play in college the last few years. We see him as someone who can already dominate the competition in college. He was the best player on the floor in the NCAA tournament againstKentucky. He’s athletic, strong and can handle the ball and pass unlike anyone I’ve seen from someone that size in some time. He’s a bit unconventional but one thing we know is he’s a guy who helps his team win basketball games. Coach McHale is going to be creative in how we work with him. We’re really excited. We didn’t expect him to be available.
We like multi-position guys and you can’t get more multi-positioned than Royce White; he was jump up the ball (at tip-off) and then be handed the ball to be the point guard forIowaState. I think you saw in the playoffs this year the advantage of having a guy who can play multiple positions with that kind of skill level and those kinds of players are rare.
On Terrence Jones: Terrence Jones is another guy we didn’t expect to be available. He obviously just won the national title. He’s really good in an up-tempo system and I think that’s a theme you’ll see that we added guys who know how to run and know how to fit into that kind of system. Terrence is a potential two-way player with his ability to defend, run the floor, face up at the big spot. So we really thought, by far, he was the best talent available when we picked at 18.
The rookies we’re adding are really accomplished rookies. As Coach McHale said earlier, obviously the league sometimes isn’t kind to rookies, but we feel like we need to add players who have this kind of upside.
On the potential options available to the Rockets heading into the draft: We had so many things on the board; you never know what’s going to materialize. We were really happy to get the two deals done we did to really position ourselves to add a lot of talent. We were comfortable with either way. We were either going to add three really great, talented players who are accomplished with upside, or we were going to pull off a trade. We were comfortable with either.
On the potential fight for minutes on a roster that’s now packed with players: It’s hard to make the league, it’s hard to make the rotation. Some of these guys are going to have to fight it out for minutes but we’ll see who the best ones are. The ones that win are going to be great players for us and some guys aren’t going to play as much, that’s true ... We’re comfortable with that. We’re very comfortable with making guys fight for playing time, fight to get on the floor and fight to help us win basketball games. I think if people feel like they’re just being handed something it creates the wrong mentality from the get go. We want guys to feel like they’re earning it and we want guys to know what it takes to get on the floor when they play for the Rockets.
On the state of the team’s center position: We have some guys we’re focused on in free agency. We’re interested in bringing back Marcus Camby if we can make that work out. There’s some other free agent fives we’re interested in and we’ll see where things go from here.
If you look at the roster right now, yeah, we’re going to have to play a little bit unconventional if nothing changes. But things will change; we’re going to add free agents, we’re going to look at continuing to improve the team until we’re setting ourselves up to be a championship contender. We either need to make trades like the ones everybody’s been writing about or we need to continue to add players who have upside who can hopefully move into that next stage of player and we did that today.