After a year of uncomfortable play with Dwight Howard, James Harden is back to being a legitimate NBA contender, thanks to being handed the reins at point guard by new head coach Mike D’Antoni. He’s third in the league in points and first in assists, and the Houston Rockets are once again one of the best teams in the NBA.
The man who brought in Harden certainly wanted it to happen this way, but if you ask Daryl Morey if that was exactly his plan when he ripped off the Thunder for the Beard, he would hilariously disagree.
Howard Beck penned a long piece for Bleacher Report, where Morey was as blunt as can be:
“People always ask, ‘You traded for him; did you know he was this good?'” Morey says. “I’m like, ‘F–k no!’ I mean, we thought he was extremely good and better than other teams probably did.”
As Morey explained in Beck’s excellent feature on the Rockets’ big three of GM, coach and star, what he did see was a player whose combination of getting to the rim, shooting three-pointers and creating shots for others was more efficient than anyone in the game — though as a sixth man, there were questions about how increased volume would affect his game.