In the wake of the Golden State Warriors' seemingly effortless NBA title, a frightening question appears to be setting in with many league front offices: How do we beat these guys?
With the Warriors widely expected to retain free agents Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry - as well as possibly Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston - Golden State remains the odds-on favorite for perhaps another three seasons, if not longer.
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, however, hinted he has a plan.
"We are used to long odds," Morey told ESPN's Zach Lowe. "If Golden State makes the odds longer, we might up our risk profile and get even more aggressive. We have something up our sleeve."
Whether Morey was speaking extemporaneously is unknown, but he's noted as one of the league's front-office innovators. As one of the founders of the Sloan Analytics Conference, Morey was one of the NBA's early adapters to advanced metrics.
"They are not unbeatable," Morey said of the Warriors. "There have been bigger upsets in sports history. We are going to keep improving our roster."
The reality, however, is the Rockets will have a maximum of about $14 million in cap space to play with this summer. Free agent Danilo Gallinari - who played for Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni with the New York Knicks - would be a logical fit, but no slam dunk given the money he's likely looking for. Paul Millsap is another potential free-agent frontcourt upgrade.
That addition alone wouldn't move the needle past the Warriors anyways, leaving the trade market as a path to improvement. The only true untouchable on the Houston roster is James Harden.