Southwest Notes: Dwight, Harden, Conley, Gasol

Dwight Howard said he’s OK with his role as a secondary offensive option behind James Harden, and while Howard described his relationship with his fellow Rockets star as a work in progress, the center said he has no issues with the shooting guard, relays Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Howard made his comments before the latest rumors of discord between him and Harden surfaced.

“People will say what they want to say. There’s no need for me and him to worry about that,” Howard said. “Our job is to grow and get better as a team and get better as individuals. I think me and James had a really good talk before the [All-Star] break. We’re more on the same page than we’ve ever been. I’m always going to have his back; pretty sure he’s always going to have my back. The biggest thing, which is always true in any situation, you always have to put your ego to the side and focus on what’s best for the team. When things don’t go well, it’s easy to point to the two guys that are leaders of the team. That’s understandable. We have to take the good with the bad. We have to come together to lead this team.”

See more from the Southwest Division:

  • Grizzlies executive VP of player personnel Ed Stefanski expressed confidence about the team’s ability to re-sign Mike Conley, said the team thinks Marc Gasol will have recovered from his broken foot in time for training camp and explained that the team’s belief that Courtney Lee would leave via free agency led the Grizzlies to trade him. Stefanski made his comments in an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio’s “The Starting Lineup” show (transcription in three Twitter links).
  • The question of whether the Grizzlies should pick up their $9.405MM team option on Lance Stephenson for next season doesn’t have an obvious answer, since he offers promise but doesn’t have a lengthy track record suggesting he’s worth that money, as Geoff Calkins, Ronald Tillery, Chris Herrington and David Williams of The Commercial Appeal debate.
  • Pelicans GM Dell Demps erred when he invested in ball-dominant guards and traditional centers instead of players equipped for the modern ball-movement game while shifting focus too far away from the draft and using the back end of the roster on journeymen instead of prospects, argues Christopher Reina of RealGM.
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