Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 6/29/12
Sometimes, good ideas turn out badly. Sometimes it's because your idea was ahead of its time, like WebTV. Sometimes an idea looks good on paper but doesn't work in the real world, like a Jack Black film or one of those Columbia House CD bargains. Sometimes your seemingly good idea really depends on its individual components, like a sandwich, or the Wishbone Offense. And then sometimes a guy comes up with a stupid idea like the Pet Rock and makes a million dollars. Or sometimes the best player in the world decides he's going to round up his buddies and come play in your city. Go figure. Good ideas don't always win. Well, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has a good idea. I believe that. And you know what's coming next. But. But it isn't working. Or it hasn't worked, anyway. The idea seems to be that the traditional method of constructing an NBA champion -- stinking badly enough you get high draft picks and build around them -- can be circumvented by viewing players not so much as specific components of a team, but as faceless-but-valuable assets that can be flipped any which way. You can use them, you can develop them, you can hoard them, you can package them, you can trade them individually, but at some point you will end up with that most elusive creature, the franchise player and in the meantime at least you'll be decent. Morey sat there in the basement of the Toyota Center after the NBA draft Thursday night, and he put on the happy face. Oh, he was surprised Jeremy Lamb was still available at No. 12 and Terrence Jones was there at No. 18. He thought Royce White was a top-five talent and that only his anxiety issues and off-court troubles allowed him to drop to No. 16. What lucky breaks the Rockets caught. But even Morey, without mentioning Dwight Howard by name, allowed it to be known the Rockets were hoping not to end up with Lamb, Jones and White, but instead with Howard, the Orlando Magic big man for which they so desperately tried, and failed, to trade. "I can't say any names here," Morey said, "but of course we were interested in something like that." All those draft picks, all those assets, and entire team full of expendable pieces, and nothing. The Rockets as we know them were constructed for the purpose of constructing something else. The team is trying to trade its best players. The Rockets traded a starting center for a draft pick, just for the chance to trade that draft pick for a better center. This was what the Rockets were building toward, a chance to dangle a cornucopia of treats in front of the entire NBA and come out in the end with one shiny object. This was the plan. This was how this was supposed to work, and... And? The Rockets drafted three more treats. This is not over, of course. Dwight Howard still exists, and he might still be traded. Maybe even to Houston. Probably not, but who knows? It wasn't as though Thursday night was the deadline. Not for Howard, and not for Morey. Time is not running out. So why does it feel like it is? Daryl Morey has a good idea. I believe that. This should work. One of these days, the Rockets should catch a break. One of these mid-first-round picks should turn into a star, or they should get the lucky draw on lottery night or a trade should work out just right. And in the meantime they'll have a team that knows what it feels like to play games that matter in April, and they'll be hungrier for it, and the fans will be there all year, and when all the pieces are finally in place, they'll be ready. But it hasn't worked. The Rockets are no closer to winning an NBA championship today than they were when Morey took over in 2007. So does that mean he should be fired? Well, that all depends. Do you think this is the Wishbone Offense or the Pet Rock?
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