NBA rumors and speculations are now swirling around the Houston Rockets regarding their offseason plan for their star center Dwight Howard if he stays with the team and play under new head coach Mike D’Antoni or if he opts out of his final year of his contract with the team.
After the disappointing loss to the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, the Houston Rockets are now undergoing a rebuilding process and this includes an adjustment with their coaching staff and roster. The Rockets made their first move by hiring Mike D’Antoni to mentor their team next season.
Mike D’Antoni and Dwight Howard worked together with the Los Angeles Lakers and were reportedly having a dispute when the team decided to focus around Steve Nash instead of Howard. There are speculations that the Rockets decision to hire D’Antoni will force Howard to seek for another team. However, the Rockets management said that they will let their new coach decide whether if they will let Howard stay or not.
“He [coach Mike D’Antoni] would welcome him [Howard] back. We would welcome him back,” Rockets general manager Daryl Morey told SiriusXM Bleacher Report Radio’s Howard Beck and Noah Coslov on Sunday when asked about the situation.
Dwight Howard is the type of player who prefers back-down post-ups while Mike D’Antoni is the type of coach who is known for pace-and-space style. This means that in order to be fit for the Rockets, Howard should make a huge adjustment with how he plays.
“One of the best players in the league. We’re going to play a certain way. I hope he wants to play that way,” D’Antoni said of Howard, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
Dwight Howard needs to make a decision until June 22 if he will decline his player option or not. If he decided to leave, the Houston Rockets will be having lots of options in the free agency market including Al Horford, who is reported to be their top target to replace Howard.
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