Southwest Notes: Dwight, Stephenson, Lee

Many executives believe Dwight Howard‘s slumping productivity and recent history of injuries will keep him from receiving the max in free agency this summer, but the Rockets still see him as preferable to Al Horford or Ryan Anderson, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick. Howard’s agent Dan Fegan sent word to the Bucks, Hornets and Hawks, among others, that Howard isn’t anxious to take any discounts this summer, and he didn’t indicate a willingness to opt in and push back his free agency until 2017, Amick notes, which reportedly turned off the Bucks, at least, if not other suitors. Adding to the confusion before the deadline was that Howard was giving serious thought to changing agents, Amick writes. The USA Today scribe indicates that Howard’s uncertainty regarding Fegan is in the past, though that’s not entirely clear. See more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Grizzlies didn’t specifically target Lance Stephenson, Chris Andersen and P.J. Hairston, whom they garnered via trade before the deadline, and instead took them in merely because their contracts were a fit for the sort of draft asset collection the deals afforded Memphis, writes Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal. The protected 2019 first-rounder the Grizzlies received in the Stephenson trade is more likely than not to end up in another trade at some point, Herrington opines.
  • There’s talk that the Grizzlies will pick up Stephenson’s $9.405MM team option for next season, according to Herrington (Twitter links), but it’s unclear if that talk is coming from the team, and the Commercial Appeal scribe dismisses it as “irrational exuberance.”
  • David Lee said the Mavericks have told him rebounding will be his primary task, notes Earl K. Sneed of (on Twitter). Conversely, the cohesiveness of the Mavs helped sell the new signee on Dallas, as Sneed also notes (Twitter link). “You can see the chemistry from playing against [the Mavericks], and that’s something I want to be a part of,” Lee said.
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