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[Amick] Trade rumors aside, Rockets and Dwight Howard not giving up on each other

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Deuce, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance
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    Trade rumors aside, Rockets and Dwight Howard not giving up on each other
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...es-harden-western-conference-finals/80813412/

    When the NBA trade deadline came and went last Thursday and Dwight Howard was still in a Houston Rockets jersey, it was widely seen as the delaying of an inevitable divorce.

    All those rumors about Howard being unhappy, about discord between he and teammate James Harden, made it entirely reasonable to consider this hoops marriage broken. Those suspicions seemed to be founded in the days leading up to the deadline, when Rockets general manager Daryl Morey had extensive discussions with several teams about a Howard trade only to stand pat when the offers didn’t size up.

    But the truth, the thing that will make this summer so interesting for the Rockets and the many teams that will be affected by how this superstar saga plays out, is that neither side is ready to give up just yet.

    Nor should they.

    As dynamic duos go, Howard-Harden remains one of the best in the NBA. Before discussing the drama and personal dynamics that matter leading up to Howard’s expected free agency this summer, a look at the indisputable facts.


    USA TODAY
    NBPA to crack down on agents breaking rules

    • Since Howard came to town in the summer of 2013, the Rockets have the fifth best regular season record (138-82) in the NBA. Entering Tuesday, only Golden State, San Antonio, the Clippers and Oklahoma City had been better during that span. That includes this season’s 28-28 record nine months after the team’s first trip to the Western Conference Finals since 1997.

    • In terms of dynamic duos, the Harden-Howard pairing is still the fourth most productive this season based on combined totals of points, rebounds and assists per game (69.4). Only the Thunder’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (81.8), the Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Draymond Green (72.8), and the Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo (71.8) have been more productive. The Clippers’ Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have a combined total of 69.8, but - because Griffin has missed 26 of 56 games and Paul’s production increased in his absence – the figure is skewed.

    • While Harden’s individual impact remains elite (28 points, seven assists and 6.4 rebounds per), Howard’s has been somewhat overlooked because of his dip in scoring (14.6 points per game; his lowest total since his rookie season in 2004-05). He is one of only three players currently averaging at least 14 points and 11 rebounds per game (the others are the Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond and the Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins).

    Power Rankings: Hornets, Blazers both making their move

    The Rockets know all of this, of course, which is why their dream scenario of a Howard-Harden-Kevin Durant trio that would be as good as any in the NBA is still the primary goal. Durant’s close friendship with Harden from their Oklahoma City days is as good a recruiting edge as a team can have, and the reality about the forthcoming free agent market is that Howard – red flags and all – can fill that third-star spot as well as any other available player.

    Yes, he’s 30 years old with declining numbers and a recent injury history that many executives believe will keep him from getting the max money he wants. But with free agency Plan Bs like Al Horford and Ryan Anderson in play, Howard is still the player they’d most prefer to play that part.


    The Rockets could have the ability to add two max-money players this summer if they so choose, and the Harden-Howard relationship – while far from perfect – is effective enough that confidence remains they can make it work.

    If only this was a one-way street. Howard, whose image took a profound hit during the Orlando and Lakers exits that led to his arrival in Houston, must also decide what factors matter most as he embarks on the back-end of his career.

    While it’s true that Howard never asked for a trade leading up to the deadline, the notion that his always-aggressive agent, Dan Fegan, wasn’t part of the process is about as believable as the notion of the Rockets winning it all this season. A message was being sent to the rest of the league in the days leading up to the deadline, with teams like Milwaukee, Charlotte and Atlanta learning firsthand that Howard’s top-dollar demands are very real. The fact that Howard was known to be seriously considering a change in representation at the time, meanwhile, only complicated an already-tricky situation.

    Yet if Howard truly wanted out of Houston, he could have told those teams that he would pick up the player option for next season and push his free agency back to the summer of 2018. Instead, he stayed and the possibility of this partnership surviving thus remained.

    No one knows if he can actually land a max deal but the historic nature of the forthcoming salary cap spike (from approximately $70 million to a projected $92 million) means the seemingly-impossible might be possible in the end. That bridge will be crossed when July 1 rolls around.
     
  2. hooroo

    hooroo Member

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    Rubber stamped by Morey. Bookmark Amick's twitter for breaking free agency news later in the year.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. LonghornFan

    LonghornFan Contributing Member

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    First I've red about this? He's looking to leave the Demon Fegan? Seriously cannot stand that guy.
     
  4. BigShasta

    BigShasta Contributing Member

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    surprised morey didnt give story to Woj.
     
  5. foggy94

    foggy94 Member

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    Any stats guys know how often we run the Dwight PnR as opposed to the post up? It's just so obviously the best play to use with him, if we know it then you know Morey and the analytics team know it too. The criticism thrown at Howard has always been that he wants to have the ball in the post because he's always been a big athletic center and they tend to have big egos, but all the noises he is making this year suggest he is willing to accept a different role in the offense, whatever it takes to win.

    So I guess two questions, are we still not running that PnR enough somehow even though it is so obviously the best way to use Dwight? And if so, why the hell not?

    I guess like the article states, the offense isn't really the problem we have is it...
     
  6. HR Dept

    HR Dept Contributing Member

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    Pie in the sky and all... I'm all in on the Durant to Houston bandwagon.

    Plus, I remember Durant yelling "This is my house' to the Toyota Center crowd during that first round playoff series a few years back. Well KD... Come home.
     
  7. OpenLayup-Why3?

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    Don't understand Ryan Anderson hype. Last boxscore I checked had him 1-X FGA and 0-6 from three. He's not getting younger either, doesn't really make his current team that better and there's talks of him getting 20+ this summer... That's a lousy plan B, Darryl, if your plan A is Durant.
     
  8. oogie boogie

    oogie boogie Member

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    I, too, think that Dwight and James can still make it work. I thought Dwight wanting to leave was blown out of proportion. He wants money. Of course he does. Who doesnt, but not many are willing to offer. This has been a horrid season with so many screw ups in the process. I think a retooling of the roster can potentially fix that. I'm not too worried about Dwight's injuries anymore.
     
  9. malakas

    malakas Member

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    from all this fluff and pointless article there's only one news. This
    Howard is stupid to fire Fegan but I hope he does. Maybe then we can lowball him.
     
  10. davidio840

    davidio840 Contributing Member

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    Yes, please.
     
  11. Dhoward12

    Dhoward12 Member

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    Yea Ive heard about Some teams would have taken Howard had be opted in
     
  12. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    I hope we resign him to a reasonable non max contract.

    A workhorse at center who is an automatic double double is hard to find.

    And don't forget his playoff performances
     
  13. LonghornFan

    LonghornFan Contributing Member

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    See- J.B Bickerstaff, Head Coach, Houston Rockets. Makes me gag even reading it. He literally has no clue.
     
  14. HeyDude

    HeyDude Contributing Member

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    Those wanting Al Horford, he's also turning 30 in June and his #s have been slipping every year.
     
  15. rocketpower2

    rocketpower2 Member

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    Damage control.
     
  16. thedude077

    thedude077 Member

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    Morey should switch his name to Moreyon. He's an idiot if he actually believes Durant will join the Rockets.
     
  17. awc713

    awc713 Member
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    a report that doesnt make the rockets look bad?

    what?
     
  18. Phreak3

    Phreak3 Contributing Member

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    You mean like mentioned in this article:

    http://www.rantsports.com/nba/2016/02/22/dwight-howard-rumors-trades-were-agreed-to-but-houston-rockets-center-wouldnt-opt-in/

     
  19. Joshfast

    Joshfast "We're all gonna die" - Billy Sole
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    repped LOL.
     
  20. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    Why on earth would he opt in? That's crazy talk
     
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