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Morey Looks To Move Rockets Forward After Game 7 Disappointment

Rockets GM hopes to build on a "record breaking" season

May 30, 2018 - 4:35 pm
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HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610)- Less than 48 hours after the Rockets 2018 playoff run ended in a disappointing 101-92 game seven loss the Golden State Warriors, Rockets general manager lamented how his team's seasons finished while at the same time being proud at what it accomplished and looking ahead to what's next.

"It was a record breaking season in many ways," he said with Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni sitting to his right. “Coach and myself are always going to feel like there was for sure more there and that double-digits leads in two elimination games, but what the coaches and players accomplished this year was truly incredible and all day yesterday and today, talking to the players, it’s all about how we’re gonna battle us back and not have this feeling again and get all the way next year."

The 2017-18 Rockets won a franchise record 65 games and came within a half of advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1995. Obviously, there is room to get better and must in order to get past a Warriors juggernaut that is playing for a championship for a fourth straight year, eliminating the Rockets three times in that stretch, but that's a challenge Morey embraces.

“My job is trying to always improve, and so I’ll be kicking every rock like we always do, but coach and I have talked if we have basically this group back we feel very good very good about it as well, so the realities of the NBA, we have many free agents, you’re not gonna have exactly the same group back, but we feel very good about the players in our locker room."

Of the players that made major contributions this season, only James Harden, Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker, Ryan Anderson, and Nene are under contract for next season. That leaves Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza, Clint Capela, Luc Mbah a Moute, and Gerald Green as the Rockets free agents. More indicated that he'd like to bring all five back.

"I can't talk specifics, but generally, we want to bring our free agents back."

This is the first offseason of the Tillman Fertitta era, and in order to keep the Rockets roster intact, they will most likely have to go over the luxury tax threshold, to which D'Antoni had a suggestion for fans.

"Go out and eat a lot at Landrys and stuff, that would help, just a little thought," he said while laughing.

After falling 24 minutes short of de-throning the Warriors for a Western Conference title, Morey is comfortable running this roster back next season, but he will also look to improve the ogranization from the outside, and after years of trying and in most cases failing to land big free agents, he believes Houston is now an NBA destination city.

“Given the great organization that we have, and then Tillman has done amazing things since he’s been here with upgrades and everything. With our winning and with the stories around the league about our players, our locker room, our coaches, we’re gonna have the pick of the free agents out there. Whether they be the high end ones or whether they be the Luc Mbah a Moutes or Gerald Greens of this year where they come in and are really key competitors, so we do feel like we are very well positioned to win the free agency battle to get over that last hump.”