Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard has the potential of withdrawing from his contract early after the last season. However, he has made it clear that he is not interested in opting out after being asked about it following the second day of Rockets training camp.
"There is no need to live in the future. I'm not a guy who lives in the future," Howard told Calvin Watkins of ESPN. "The only moment that matters is right now and what we accomplish as a team. It starts with training camp, today is the second day, tomorrow is the third day and we just got to work on getting better every day."
He reiterated that there is no need for him to focus on anything that is about to happen next summer and emphasized that his goal is help the Rockets "be the best team in the NBA and win a championship."
The 29-year-old is about to enter his 12th season after having played in only 41 games in the previous season because of a handful of injuries. Rockets coach Kevin McHale said that the organization will keep an eye on the center's workload during training camp.
However, that does not seem to fit well with Howard who mentioned that people around him are acting like he is about to retire. "I mean, I feel good. I'm 29 years old regardless of me being in the league for 12 years, I'm fairly young. I got about a good 10 years left in me. I'm going to give everything I got for these 10, 11 years I got left," Howard explained.
The player had already been a free agent when he moved from Los Angeles to Houston back in 2013. The Lakers were believed to sign him at the time, but Howard rejected them and opted to ink a four-year deal with the Rockets worth $87.5 million.
During the offseason, Houston has also quietly made a deal with the Denver Nuggets, singing up Ty Lawson in the process. Acquiring Lawson was seen as a precarious move considering that he has been slapped with a second DUI over the summer. But the Rockets see the deal's potential given that the point guard has managed to deliver an average of 15.2 points to go with 9.6 assists per game last season.
In an interview with Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the newly-minted Rockets point guard is apparently gunning for reigning MVP Stephen Curry. He said that Curry was allowed to "coast" defensively in the Western Conference finals during last season's playoffs.
"Steph Curry needed someone to go back at him. I thought Steph was just chillin' on defense - and then going crazy on offense. He looked like he was just putting shots up and not working so much on the defensive end. He would just come down and hit three or four 3s. He can shoot when he's got his legs under him," Lawson told Yahoo.
Nevertheless, he clarified that he is not saying he is going to shut down the current MVP and mentioned that he is just going to make him work more on the defensive end once they meet in the postseason. "I'm not saying, 'Oh, I'm going to stop Steph,' but just make him work harder at the other end. I saw that in the Cavs series too. He wasn't really working at the other end," Lawson added.