Houston Rockets general manager is stepping down but will temporarily remain with the team in advisory role to assist with the coaching search, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
Morey made the decision to leave one month after team owner Tilman Fertitta said that Morey would return. Per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the decision to leave was entirely Morey’s.
And the timing of the move is curious, given that the Rockets are in the middle of a coaching search. They reportedly spoke to ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy about the vacancy on Wednesday, as well as former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue on Tuesday.
It is not clear who is leading the interview process, though Fertitta indicated last month it would be Morey, a product of Highland High School in Medina, Ohio.
Per Wojnarowski, he will be succeeded by executive VP of basketball operations Rafael Stone, who is being promoted to GM.
“Daryl Morey’s job is safe,” Fertitta told CNBC last month. “I’m sure he’s going to pick the right head coach.”
Fertitta added, “It begins and end with the general manager. That’s why you have a basketball operations team. They’ll make a recommendation to me. I’m the sign-off guy. I wouldn’t know how to interview a basketball coach.”
Morey began his career with the Rockets as an assistant general manager in 2006, after serving a stint in the Boston Celtics’ front office. He succeeded Carroll Dawson as Rockets GM in 2007.
The Rockets are looking to replace Mike D’Antoni, who stepped down as coach in September after four seasons on the job.
“The Rockets went 640-400 under Morey, never having a losing season and compiling the second-best record in the NBA behind the San Antonio Spurs in his tenure,” Feigen wrote. “Their streak of eight-consecutive seasons reaching the playoffs is the longest active run in the NBA.