There had been rampant speculation that the Houston Rockets would part ways with Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik after committing big money to top free agent signing Dwight Howard, but Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said during Howard’s introductory press conference that the roster will be staying as is for now.
“The reality is James (Harden) and Dwight (Howard) want to play with Jeremy and Omer,” Morey said, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle “I’ve been kicked down to assistant GM. They’re going to be here.”
Asik reportedly asked for a trade whenever the team added Howard, but Howard surprisingly showed some maturity and said that he hopes to welcome his teammates with open arms and do his best to elevate their play on the court along with his.
“Omer might not really see the total big picture right now, and I totally understand,” Howard said. “He’s a young guy and he wants to really be respected. I would tell him when I see him, ‘You’ve done a great job on this team. I’m going to help you and this team get better.’ He’s a big piece to us winning a championship if we’re going to make that run.
“I’m going to do whatever I can to make those guys’ lives better. I realize how much they mean to this team.”
If this is a new, mature Howard that we are seeing, then I am very impressed. Of course, this was likely just Howard trying to make a good first impression on the city. However, if he does choose to embrace the team game and do what he can to help all of those around him, the free agent signing would have been worth every penny for the Rockets.