Daryl Morey refuses to discuss trade

HOUSTON -- Rockets general manager Daryl Morey refused to answer questions Thursday about the three-team deal rejected by the NBA a week ago, citing legal reasons.

The Rockets would have received Pau Gasol in the proposed deal that also would have sent All-Star guard Chris Paul to the Lakers. Lamar Odom was headed to the NBA-owned Hornets, and Houston also would have sent Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and a first-round pick to New Orleans.

The NBA said it killed the deal for "basketball reasons."

Asked Thursday how he felt about the NBA's decision, Morey said: "On the advice of counsel, I can't talk about it." He also would not comment when asked why he had spoken to an attorney, nor would he reveal if the team was considering legal action against the league.

"I understand the focus," Morey said, "but I just can't comment right now."

Morey did say that he has not spoken personally to commissioner David Stern about the situation. He said he didn't know if team owner Leslie Alexander had spoken to Stern, either.

"I haven't heard from him," Morey said.

Paul ended up in Los Angeles anyway, but playing for the Clippers. The other Los Angeles team acquired Paul on Wednesday night by trading high-scoring guard Eric Gordon, former All-Star center Chris Kaman, forward Al-Farouq Aminu and a first-round draft choice acquired from Minnesota to New Orleans.

The Rockets, meanwhile, play their first preseason game against San Antonio on Saturday night.

Martin, Scola and Dragic have been practicing with the team all week, and Morey acknowledged Thursday that the trio was caught in an "unfair situation." Martin was Houston's leading scorer last season (23.5 points per game) and Scola was the second-leading scorer (18.3 points per game) and top rebounder (8.2 per game).

"They're professional," Morey said. "We love those guys. I'm sorry they got caught up in it."

Martin did not speak to reporters after Thursday's workout, but the easygoing Scola maintained a positive outlook.

"I can't worry about that," Scola said. "There's nothing I can do to control that. There's only one thing I can do, just work hard, play hard. That's what I'm doing."

"I know the team likes me," he said. "But if they think they've got a chance to improve the team, if they think they're going to make the team better by doing a move that I'm in, I'll have to be OK with that."

Morey says he's confident the Rockets will be competitive this year, even though the big trade fell through. And he's still keeping an eye on potential deals that will make the team better.

"Even though I can't comment, Mr. Alexander and I are fighting hard for the Rockets organization," Morey said. "Our goal doesn't change. It's to continue to make this team better. Mr. Alexander has a history of making moves and trying to get us in a position to make us a championship contender. That's what we're going to still do."

"We don't have any excuses," Morey said. "We're going to keep fighting and winning, and we're going to keep trying to make this team a team the city can be proud of, and get it back to being a championship-caliber team."