Some noise went around the NBA yesterday, but two big stories came about where one left us astonished and one was to no surprise.
In Houston, multiple reports said that Daryl Morey will no longer be the general manager for the Rockets.
It’s a decision that Morey made and he wanted to step down from the position on his own terms. Reports have said that he wants to be with his family more and to potentially explore other options, but that does not mean he couldn’t become a general manager elsewhere in the NBA.
ESPN senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Twitter that the Rockets are planning to make Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Rafael Stone the new general manager. This will be Stone’s first crack as an NBA executive, making him the ninth one in franchise history; he has been with the organization since 2005.
During his time, he started out as part of the teams’ general counsel and worked his way to the top. In 2019 he was promoted to executive vice president of basketball operations and now a general manager after a year.
During his 13-year run with the Rockets, Morey created a winning culture that resulted in 10 playoff appearances. No championships came out of it in the end but proved to be a very good general manager; Morey won the 2017-2018 Executive of the Year award. Houston finished with a record of 65-17 that year but lost to the Golden State warriors in the conference finals in seven games.
Some of the most notable transactions he accomplished was signing James Harden to a multi-year contract in 2016. He also traded for Chris Paul in 2017, later on Paul would be traded along with future draft capital, to get Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2019.
Staying in the Western Conference bubble, the Los Angeles Clippers found their next head coach.
Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Twitter that Tyronn Lue finalized on a five-year deal to become the Clippers 26th head coach in franchise history. Lue gets his second crack as an NBA head coach.
His first opportunity came in January of 2016, the Cleveland Cavaliers fired David Blatt mid-season. From there, the Cavs were dominant in the second half of the regular season and went onto win their first NBA title in franchise history.
The team was successful after that, winning 50 and 51 games and reached the NBA Finals in 2017 and 2018, but fell to the Golden State Warriors each time. After LeBron joined the Los Angeles Lakers, the Cavs were significantly different, Lue started off the 2018-2019 season 0-6 and was fired by the team.
After that, he joined Doc Rivers as an informal role with the Los Angeles Clippers. He would later become an assistant coach for the 2019-2020 season and will now take over as head coach this upcoming season.
The Clippers went 49-23 this past season, under the first-year duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Their playoff run would be short lived as they were knocked off by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals in seven games.
The Clippers were a team that was a heavy favorite to play the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, even some predicting an NBA Finals appearance. Rivers stepped down as head coach of the Clippers and the organization believe Ty Lue can get this team to become a champion.