The Rockets have one of the most analytically minded front offices, which has guided them to a perimeter-oriented approach, but Dwight Howard insists the inside-out game isn’t dead, as he tells Sam Amick of USA Today. “I feel like that’s a very successful way of playing. I know [the Rockets] have their opinions or whatever,” Howard said. “[But] for the rest of the season, I’m going to make it an effort just to do what they need me to do offensively and defensively, and not focus on what happened back in Orlando [and] what happened in L.A. [with the Lakers] and just put my mind to finishing this season on a real high note.”
Howard, who plans to opt out and become a free agent this summer, is unlikely to remain with the Rockets unless he doesn’t find a max offer or a promise of an increased role in the offense from another team, Amick believes, though Howard is cognizant of his reputation as someone who walks out on franchises and insisted to Amick that he’s worked to become a part of every NBA community he’s been in.
- Zach Lowe of ESPN.com suggests the Pelicans and Jazz held at least cursory trade talks involving Jrue Holiday, though the conversation went nowhere, Lowe writes, with New Orleans setting too high a price for the discussion to advance. Lowe suggests the same about Jeff Teague talks between the Jazz and Hawks, though previous reports indicated that Atlanta and Utah didn’t have contact on the Teague front. The ESPN scribe speculated about Holiday and the Jazz before last month’s trade deadline.
- It’s been a rough season for Alvin Gentry, but players around the league like him, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News, who counts it as a plus for the Pelicans‘ recruitment of free agents. The key will be matching free agents with Gentry’s system and vice-versa, contends Deveney, who wonders about the job security of GM Dell Demps.
- NBA executives flocked to the wisdom of Kirk Goldsberry, who turned an expertise in mapping into a career as a journalist covering NBA advanced metrics, but now the Spurs have his information to themselves, as Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News details. The team hired him earlier this month as its new vice president of strategic research.