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Rockets GM Daryl Morey: 'There are probably at least three teams better than us'

Despite signing Dwight Howard this offseason, Daryl Morey thinks the Rockets are in the NBA's second tier. (NBAE/Getty Images) Despite signing Dwight Howard this offseason, Daryl Morey thinks the Rockets are in the NBA's second tier. (NBAE/Getty Images)

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has made bold moves in the last year, landing James Harden in a trade and signing Dwight Howard this offseason

Combining that pair with a talented mix of role players has made Houston a preseason contender in the Western Conference. But Morey was unwilling to make any bold statements about his team heading into the season.

From CBSSports.com's Royce Young:

“I think there are probably at least three teams better than us, if not more,” Morey said. “Until you're going into a season feeling like you are the top one or two ... I think it's hard to talk about, 'Hey, we're one of the favorites to win the championship.' But I do think we go in with a chance, whereas we haven't in the last few years.”

Presented with the Heat, the Thunder and the Spurs, Morey said, “I think those three, I would say going in for sure are better than us, and they've definitely proven more. I think the Bulls and the Pacers they're very good as well this year. I am hoping we are in the mix with them, maybe equal quality.”

As the Lakers showed last season, high-profile acquisitions don't necessarily mean teams will meet expectations. But Morey's Rockets look as though they are built to compete with the league's best.

MAGAZINE: Daryl Morey will risk everything to back up his analytic approach

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