The Houston Rockets signed Carlos Delfino, 29, to a two-year contract. The second year is a team option according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
The Rockets don’t assume much risk with the deal since it essentially could turn into a one-year deal for a player that won’t be asked to do much and, generally, doesn’t do much wrong either.
Advanced numbers pin Delfino as an average to below-average player that shoots well, finds his teammates in a creative manner and provides an inestimable Argentinian flare. He isn’t a necessary component to any team, nor will he prove to be an albatross, he just simply is a decent player without any discernible elite skill.
A guy like Delfino fits on most teams considering his penchant to do the subtle, unappreciated things in basketball that amount to a significant difference over time.
The rare exception, though, may be Houston who are stocked with talent. Delfino is a redundant asset in the context of general manager Darryl Morey’s platonic, ill-fitting mismatch of a roster; it’s not a slight redundancy either, but it’s dramatically so. He will join the Rockets and likely play well enough to stay but in a general sense, adding surplus without a finite plan in place — at least not in the interim, isn’t a valid strategy.
Which makes it doubly odd: When Delfino joins the Rockets, he will be the 21st player on their roster. They can’t sustain that surplus obviously, given the rules of the NBA collective bargaining agreement, leading credence to the notion: Is Delfino absolutely necessary? What really is the difference between having 20 players and a bunch of assets and 21 players with a bunch of assets? Not much, right?
Logic would tell you so. While Morey’s acquisitions are technically net positives in the context of a vacuum, devoid of positional scarcity and practicality, the progressive NBA market is much more complex. A confluence of factors go into each decision and Morey has lost sight of his final destination, even though his idea is technically sound.
Obviously a couple of trades are in order to maintain a coherent roster. Morey is an excellent general manager, and while I remain impressive with his fortitude and savvy, there is a fine line between genius and naive.
Unless Morey strikes gold with a trade, his incoherent roster may lead many to believe that he is indeed the latter.