Why are these executives fleeing the Rockets?
The Rockets’ agreement with Morey, Brown and others that were part of sale when the team was sold to Tilman Fertitta in 2017 gave five-year guaranteed contract extensions in which they will get paid by the Rockets, even after taking positions with other organizations, a person with knowledge of the agreements said.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
I can confirm this reporting from @Jonathan_Feigen. Former owner Leslie Alexander insisted on this clause for his top two execs as part of the sale of the franchise to Tilman Fertitta. https://t.co/NwcaTbIZyz
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) July 12, 2021
That was nice of Leslie Alexander, but it looks like a blunder by Tilman Fertitta to accept those terms. Those clauses gave Morey and Brown incentive to leave Houston. They can now double dip in salary but would have each earned only one income if staying with the Rockets. Fertitta could have given Morey and Brown the big money Alexander wanted, just with a more-logical structure.
As the Rockets went south around James Harden‘s trade request, that made it even easier for Morey and Brown to move on. Heck, if Harden knew of Morey’s contract terms and suspected Morey would leave, that might have even influenced Harden’s decision.
Houston is seemingly pleased with its new general manager, Rafael Stone. But Morey is among the best in the business, and the Rockets had him under contract.
Now, they’re paying him while he works elsewhere.
It’s not a great setup.