Lowe On Howard, Wizards, Teague, Pelicans

The surprise of the summer might not have been Dwight Howard's departure from the Lakers, but the quickness with which he decided to join up with the Rockets.  We're just a week into the free agency period, but executives are already taking the time to survey the entire landscape outside of their own milieu.  Zach Lowe of Grantland checked in with basketball people to get their take on things and unearthed some very interesting tidbits..

  • Lowe wonders why more clubs didn't put their toe in the water for Dwight Howard.  His educated guess after poking around is that the Wizards gave it a go while the Bulls, who were once a rumored trade destination, did not.  The Bulls have a stern culture, very good talent already on hand, and a tax complication, so Howard would have been a longshot and maybe not the best idea anyway.
  • The Jazz could have used their cap space this summer to sign Jeff Teague, who sources say is nearly unwanted in the Hawks organization.  We've heard previously that the point guard was upset with the lack of communication he's had with Atlanta this summer. 
  • Pelicans owner Tom Benson has told the front office that the team needs to take a significant step forward this season, according to several sources around the league.  That would help to explain their sizable commitment to Tyreke Evans this summer.
  • Other execs have pointed out that the Rockets tend to be sort of annoying, especially around draft day.  Daryl Morey & Co. make many, many phone calls, poking the market and chasing tiny deals that move them two spots up in the draft or add an extra second-round pick.  People knocked Morey for burning up the phone lines to chase the No. 9 seed a year ago and didn't seem long for Houston, but he has turned a roster with zero top-50 talent into a roster with two top-15 players.
  • As much as Houston says they want to hang on to center Omer Asik, Lowe would be surprised to see him finish the year with the Rockets.
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