These are strange times in the NBA. Ray Allen has gone from Jesus Shuttlesworth to Judas in the eyes of Celtics fans, Stave Nash is a Laker. Meanwhile Drake and Chris Brown nearly knocked Tony Parker out of the Olympics and the Orlando Magic hired a 30-year-old away from the Oklahoma City Thunder's nursery to negotiate their 26-year old superstar's exit strategy,
However, the Houston Rockets lead the league in baffling offseason decisions and renowned general manager Daryl Morey has stood at the head of the asylum.
In December, Morey appeared ready to build around Pau Gasol, Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry. In an unforeseen twist, the Gasol-Paul-Odom trade was rejected by David Stern. As odd as the Odom trade saga was, this summer has matched December's post-lockout unpredictability.
Morey, earned his bachelors in computer science and MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Management, is perceived to be one of the brightest executives in professional sports.
Unfortunately, in six seasons under Morey, the Rockets have only made the playoffs once. However, it's not Morey's fault that the Rockets were forced to rebuild from the injury-riddled Yao Ming and McGrady era.
Here's a run-down of the Rockets offseason movements.
§ Traded Chase Budinger and Samuel Dalembert for first round picks.
§ Drafted swingmen Royce White, Jeremy Lamb and Terrance Jones.
§ Allowed Goran Dragic sign in Phoenix for four years and $34 million just 17 months after acquiring him from Phoenix in a trade.
§ Sign-and-traded Marcus Camby, who has led the NBA in total rebounding percentage for the past two seasons to New York for guard Toney Douglas, centers Josh Harrelson and Jerome Jordan and future second-round picks.
§ Amnestied Luis Scola's good contract for an opportunity to pursue Dwight Howard's expiring contract and traveling circus. (Scola was also snatched up by Phoenix.)
§ Dealt point guard Kyle Lowry to Toronto for a future first-round lottery pick and forward Gary Forbes.
§ Signed Bulls reserve center Omer Asik to three-year $25 million offer sheet which includes nearly $15 million in the final year. Asik averaged 3.1 points and 5.3 rebounds last season.
§ As absurd as Asik's contract is, Houston's second poison pill contract has been the talk of the league. Last week, the Rockets signed Knicks guard Jeremy Lin to a three-year $25 million poison pill offer sheet that included $14.5 million in the final year of the deal.
The fact that the former Harvard point guard will be departing an organization with a championship-caliber roster in the media capital of the world for a franchise that has no apparent plans besides leasing Dwight Howard shows that an Ivy League education doesn't guarantee common sense.
Mike Woodson isolation offense defers greatly from Mike D'Antoni's pick and roll style. D'Antoni's offensive system took advantage of Lin's quickness in the lane and Tyson Chandler's size. After Woodson was hired many believed he would begin to phase out Lin, but it never happened.
In fact, the Knicks were so willing to accommodate him that both Jason Kidd and Woodson emphasized that Lin would be the starter next season.
Goran Dragic averaged 18 points and 8.3 assists per game during the final 26 games of last season after being promoted to the starting lineup. Lin averaged 18.5 points and 7.5 assists in 26 starts last season.
Morey is the NBA's Billy Beane equivalent but unlike Beane, Morey has never played in the professional or college ranks or had Brad Pitt portray him in a motion picture.
Both are forward-thinking general managers that have revolutionized the use of advanced statistical analysis in their respective sports.
However, Morey has seemingly abandoned his Moneyball roots and is careening down a John Nash-type path to basketball madness.
Fellow MIT grad, Nash was the subject of "A Beautiful Mind", the Academy-Award winning film based on the American mathematician/economist and his plunge into insanity. In the film, Nash, portrayed by Russell Crowe, involuntarily created delusions of a college roommate, his niece and a CIA conspiracy.
It's a foregone conclusion that Howard would not re-sign with Houston in 2013. Morey's apparent idea of contending for a championship with Lin and Howard running the pick and roll while surrounded by a litany of role players next season is equally delusional.
Ironically, the Lin-sanity that swept through New York in February closely describes what Morey has psychologically exhibited this summer. Lin is superior to a 39-year-old Jason Kidd and while Raymond Felton had his best season in D'Antoni's point guard friendly offense in 2010, he has plummeted back to earth since being jettisoned to Denver and then Portland.
To get Howard, the Rockets are reportedly interested in absorbing the contracts of Chris Duhon, Jason Richardson, Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu and Howard in exchange for a litany of future first round picks and players drafted by Houston in 2012.
The only glimmer of hope that the Rockets have of retaining Howard at the end of his current contract would be to create enough cap space to lure another top-flight superstar to Houston next summer or by finding out what fruit candy Otis Smith offered Howard when he agreed to opt-in for the final year of his contract.
From 2004 to 2009, Tracy McGrady's jersey was one of the league's top sellers while he played alongside Yao in Houston. They Rockets would have to convince Howard that he could maximize his marketing potential in a similar manner alongside Lin on Asia's marquee franchise.
Morey's strategy is so crazy, he believes it just might work.
Waiving Lin on Christmas Eve 2011 appears to have made Morey realize the peril of relying on advanced statistics.
After Lin' s breakthrough as a Knick, Morey was the most vocal executive to express regret over passing over Lin and on Feb. 9, he tweeted "We should have kept [Jeremy Lin]. Did not know he was this good".
Signing Lin to a "ridiculous contract," as Carmelo Anthony referred to it, and leveraging the Rockets future on Howard has opened the rest of our eyes as well. Morey is just like every other overspending NBA executive. Morey may be the godfather of the NBA's advanced statistical analysis revolution, however, he's finally learned that superstars rule the league. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out.