Phase I is complete. The reconstruction of the Rockets’ roster began with a massive overhaul. But the foundation was put in place and was thoroughly tested, proving to be sound. No less an expert than Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant raved, “They’re building something great in Houston.” “I feel like we’ve proved we can play with anybody,” Rockets forward Chandler Parsons said. “We competed, we fought, we never gave up and we’re a scrappy, young, resilient team. We believe in ourselves and we’re confident and this is a process. There is no better experience than what we’ve gone through as a team in this series, being an eighth seed playing the No. 1 seed, getting a tough road win, getting a home win. We’ve experienced a lot. As this process goes on, I think we’re only going to get better and better every opportunity we get.” The next part of the construction will be tricky, with the Rockets hoping to keep the bulk of their team together and still add the parts needed to take a young team, seeded eighth, and construct a championship contender. After their first playoff series together – and for many of the Rockets players the first post-season in their careers – the Rockets are more convinced than ever it can be done. “I don’t think the changes will be as widespread as before, but we’re looking to get the best talent that we possibly can,” Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said. “People want to play in Houston. They see the revival of the team. Other people want to play with James (Harden). And players like the city of Houston. “We have to add at least one more superstar like James. If it doesn’t happen this year, it’ll happen the year after this year. Who knows when? But if it doesn’t happen this year, we’ll still bring a terrific player in for this year to make us better. We’re going to use the cap room. We just don’t know how we’re going to use it yet.” The architect and builder are in place. With one year remaining on general manager Daryl Morey’s contract, Alexander said he signed Morey this week to a four-year extension. Coach Kevin McHale has two seasons remaining on his contract, the second at the team’s option. Alexander said McHale has been clear that he intends to remain “long-term.” “I think Kevin’s done a great job and I want to keep him long-term,” Alexander said. “I don’t see any reason to do that (extend his contract with two seasons left) now. Kevin’s not going anywhere. He loves coaching here. Why would he leave? I told him he’s done a great job. When we talk, he talks about the future.” McHale began his tenure with the Rockets wanting to first establish a culture of work ethic and competitiveness. His first season was shortened by the lockout, and by the start of his second, only Parsons remained.
Rockets’ rebuilding to continue, but fewer key pieces are needed
Houston Chronicle | May 5