Dwight Howard can opt out of his deal at season’s end, but he isn’t planning for the sort of hype that surrounded the last time his contract became an issue, writes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Howard declined to talk Wednesday about his potential to become a free agent next summer, though Rockets GM Daryl Morey said last week that he intends to keep the core of the team, including Howard, together for more than just this coming season, Feigen notes. Howard shrugged off the notion that he’s headed into an age-related decline.
“I’m 29 years old,” Howard said, accoring to Feigen. “Regardless of me being in the league for 12 years, I’m still fairly young. I’ll give everything I’ve got for these 10, 11 years I have left.”
See more on the Rockets amid the latest from around the Texas Triangle:
- Ty Lawson asked James Harden to push the Rockets to trade for him shortly after last season’s Western Conference Finals were over, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. The initial rush of major moves in late June and early July passed with Lawson still on the Nuggets, but Houston finally traded for the point guard in late July.
- David West has been saving money since his rookie season with the idea that when he came to the end of his career, he could make professional decisions based on basketball only and not worry about finances, as Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio-Express News details. That’s just what he did this summer, when he turned down a $12.6MM player option from the Pacers and signed for a $1,499,187 minimum salary with the Spurs. “There are a lot of people making a whole lot less than we make that live comfortable lives,” West said to McDonald. “I’ve always kept that in perspective. So when it came down to year 13, knowing you’ve got more yesterdays than tomorrows, you say, ‘Take the money off the table and go where you want to go.’”
- JaVale McGee is showing frustration as the rehab process from stress fracture in his left tibia drags on, but even though he probably won’t be ready for opening night, the dearth of other center options on the Mavs makes it likely the team keeps him, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. That means the Mavs would end up cutting one of 15 players with a fully guaranteed contract to accommodate McGee’s partially guaranteed deal on the regular season roster. “We know what he’s capable of doing,” coach Rick Carlisle said of McGee. “He has a body of work. We know he’s an NBA player, and we know he has the ability to be a starting player in the NBA. We know he’s very motivated to play. He’s just had a very odd rehab situation that’s been addressed and he’s doing much better. So that’s something that we’re going to have to evaluate and kind of see what’s what as time goes along, but we consider him a guy that’s a great prospect.”