Rockets Links: Howard, Backcourt, Grasso

When free agency opened on July 1st this year, the Rockets were the first team to meet with Dwight Howard. While that ultimately worked out well for the team, it made GM Daryl Morey uncomfortable at the time, as he told MaD Radio in Houston.

"By going first, I think the other teams have somewhat of an edge. They can trash us in the future meeting," Morey said. "We felt like we had the strongest story and that is what won the day. Dwight was very positive after our meeting, so we felt good at that point."

Here's more on the Rockets, from Morey and others:

  • In the same conversation with MaD Radio, Morey admitted that there are probably at least three teams in the NBA currently stronger than the Rockets. "I think [the Heat, Thunder, and Spurs], I would say going in for sure are better than us, and they’ve definitely proven more," Morey said. "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."
  • In an Insider-only piece for, Bradford Doolittle ranks the top backcourts in the NBA by projected WARP, and the No. 1 team is a bit of a surprise: Houston's backcourt, led by James Harden, Jeremy Lin, and Patrick Beverley, tops the list.
  • Adam Zagoria of hears that Iona assistant Jared Grasso is in discussions with the Rockets about coaching their D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Twitter link). We heard last week that Houston was talking to another NCAA assistant, Billy Lange, about the job, but he reportedly turned down the team's offer.

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