Houston Rockets (39-41) are most likely set to miss the playoffs with just two games remaining on their schedule. According to league sources, the team could fire general manager Daryl Morey and interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff, while bringing about wholesale changes ahead of next season.
According to an ESPN report, the Rockets are convinced that “every aspect of the organization – coaching staff, front office and, of course, their roster – must be subject to a thorough review” during the forthcoming offseason. There is a good possibility that the team enters the reset button and starts over with a fresh personnel running the front office and the coaching staff.
This is the same Houston Rockets squad that won 56 games and reached the Western Conference Finals last season. Prior to this season, they were expected to be a top-3 seed and compete tooth-and-nail with the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. However, their rapid downfall was unforeseen.
The Rockets fired coach Kevin McHale just 11 games into the season and handed the reigns of the team to Bickerstaff. In recent weeks, Rockets owner Leslie Alexander has publicly acknowledged that Bickerstaff, a coach handpicked by the players, would have to be assessed at season’s end.
Dwight Howard to leave Houston Rockets
Besides front office changes, the Houston Rockets are also expected to make major roster changes. For starters, superstar center Dwight Howard is expected to decline his player option and bolt for another team in free agency. Also, Houston could trade most of its roster for an assortment of draft picks and young players, in an effort to start anew.
GM Daryl Morey’s contract expires after the 2017-18 season but could fail to survive his entire tenure. According to the ESPN, Morey has been blamed for the chemistry issues plaguing the team. “Sources say Morey also faces some uncertainty in the wake of the Rockets’ struggles. Morey’s ever-bold approach to roster assembly won deserved kudos for bringing Harden (October 2012) and Howard (July 2013) to Houston in quick succession, but team chemistry has been a rising concern this season given the well-chronicled deterioration of the Harden-Howard relationship and the failed off season gamble on guard Ty Lawson.”
Recently, Morey said that he wasn’t concerned about his future with the team. “You’re asking the wrong guy about that. That’s Mr. Alexander’s choice and all I do is my job every day. He makes that call,” the outspoken GM told ESPN in an interview.
For Houston Rockets, it wouldn’t be an entirely bad thing to miss the playoffs. Sometimes, a major drop in performance leads to an upheaval.