The Houston Rockets faced another disappointing end to their season, being eliminated in the second round by the Los Angeles Lakers in just five games. And after the tough loss, there were reports that ownership was planning a “culture reset” that began with the departure of head coach Mike D’Antoni.
Now, the team is making it clear just how serious they were being about this fresh start, as GM Daryl Morey is also reportedly parting ways with the team in a move that is considered mutual. Still, the departure comes as a bit of a shock, as The Athletic previously reported that owner Tilman Fertitta had no plans to fire Morey and even expected him to be a part of this “culture reset.”
With Morey stepping down after more than 13 years with the team, the Rockets will have to work on finding a new general manager along with a new head coach. Houston was already deep into the interview process. Ty Lue has reportedly become the favorite for the position, while Jeff Van Gundy also interviewed for the position. But if the team wants the new GM to have an active role in picking the new coach, perhaps they will put the search on pause and focus on the general manager position first.
Whoever takes over as Houston’s GM will immediately have some massive expectations to meet, as the team clearly has a “championship or bust” mentality as long as James Harden is on the roster. So unless ownership is planning to blow it up and embrace a full-on rebuild, the next coach and GM are going to need to win right away or risk being shown the door.