Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2009 (Revised September 2010)

Discovering Hidden Gems: The Story of Daryl Morey, Shane Battier, and the Houston Rockets (A)

by Frances X. Frei and Matthew Todd Perlberg


As NBA Commissioner David Stern approached the podium, silent anticipation gripped the 4,000 Houston Rockets fans gathered at the Rockets Draft Party. "With the 8th pick in the 2006 NBA draft," Stern began, "the Houston Rockets select Rudy Gay from the University of Connecticut." The 4,000 Rockets faithfully erupted into euphoric cheers. Rudy Gay was a highly touted college prospect who some analysts projected could have been one of the top three selections in the draft. To be able to select him in the eighth spot seemed like a steal for the Rockets and their newly hired assistant general manager, Daryl Morey. Moments later, the assembled crowd's jubilation turned to horror as television analysts covering the draft announced breaking news. The Rockets traded the rights to Rudy Gay along with another Rockets fan favorite, Stromile Swift, to the Memphis Grizzlies for Shane Battier. Jeers of frustration rang from the Rockets fans. How could the Rockets trade Rudy Gay and Stromile Swift for Shane Battier?

Keywords: Human Capital; Managerial Roles; Operations; Organizational Structure; Performance Evaluation; Groups and Teams; Sports Industry;


Frei, Frances X., and Matthew Todd Perlberg. "Discovering Hidden Gems: The Story of Daryl Morey, Shane Battier, and the Houston Rockets (A)." Harvard Business School Case 610-038, November 2009. (Revised September 2010.)