Houston hasn’t ruled out trying to re-sign Dwight Howard, but whom the Rockets select as coach will go a long way toward determining whether they pursue a continued partnership with the former All-Star center, writes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Howard would reportedly prefer to remain with the Rockets, but at least four other teams appear to be more likely options at this point. Houston’s choice of a head coach for next season and the system that coach runs will influence Howard’s choice, according to Feigen. See more on Howard in the wake of Wednesday’s season-ending loss:
- Howard refused to talk about his future after Houston’s playoff elimination Wednesday night, notes Sam Amick of USA Today, who passes along noteworthy comments Howard made last month about the Magic, who’ve since emerged as an apparent co-favorite to sign him this summer. “To this day man, Orlando has always been special to me,” Howard said of his original NBA home. “Each city, the city grows on me so much because, like I said, I’m a people person and I’m always out in the community. I start to develop relationships, even with people at the smallest places. The Waffle House, stuff like that. … When you leave, it’s like anything. You’re like, ‘I miss this,’ and ‘I miss that.’ And Orlando was a place that I think about all the time. I basically grew up there, and I had so many friends there and stuff like that. I just hate how the situation [his departure from Orlando] happened, just the way that it was perceived. I totally hated that.”
- Scott Brooks was a candidate for the Rockets coaching job, but he wasn’t a favorite, according to Feigen, who writes in the same piece. Marc Stein of ESPN.com heard Brooks and Jeff Van Gundy were the two front-runners for the Houston gig shortly before Brooks took the Wizards job instead.
- Van Gundy is the likely “starting point” for the Rockets’ coaching search, but owner Leslie Alexander wants to be certain that Van Gundy, who hasn’t been an NBA coach since parting ways with the Rockets in 2007, would update his offense, Feigen writes.
- Jason Terry on Wednesday expressed high hopes of re-signing with the Rockets when he hits free agency this summer, and he reiterated his intention to play again next season despite having interviewed a few weeks ago for the head coaching job at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, notes Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston (Twitter link). The Rockets would consider re-signing Terry if they can’t otherwise fill the role he played for the team this year, Feigen writes within a slideshow, so that would indicate Terry isn’t a priority for Houston.