The Houston Rockets have been making headlines this NBA season. Unfortunately, most updates about the NBA team involve the group's deteriorating performance. Formerly known as one of the potential basketball teams to challenge the dominance of the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference, the Houston Rockets find themselves at the ninth spot. With a change in the coaching staff and a few minor adjustments in their strategies, the Ty Lawson squad look nowhere near a team that can beat the likes of the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers.
One of the most widely reported issues plaguing the NBA team is the inability of Dwight Howard to mesh with the James Harden squad. The former Los Angeles Lakers star signed with the Houston Rockets in 2013. His four-year contract is worth $88 million. Part of the terms in his deal is an opt-out condition by the 2016-17 NBA season.
With the continuous decline of the Houston Rockets, the front office and the coaching staff are in a frenzy in searching for ways to remedy the situation. Interim head coach JB Bickerstaff recently noted that the Harden team is "broken." His comments came following the heartbreaking 116-103 loss of the Houston Rockets in the hands of the Portland Trailblazers.
"We're broken," shared Bickerstaff via Oregon Live. The Houston Rockets interim head coach added, "It's that simple. We're a broken team, and we all need to use this break to figure out how we're going to impact change. If we don't want to impact change, then we need to be made aware of that, too, and we'll go in a different direction."
Given the situation, rumors are rife that Howard might want to simply exit such a problematic basketball team. The Vertical revealed that the center is reportedly aiming to opt-out of his agreement with the Houston Rockets. The 30-year-old star is said to be targeting a max contract. Hence, he intends to see how much he can get once he enters the free agent market.
However, these rumors are refuted by Howard and his agent.
"I'm not privy to what the Rockets are doing or not doing with respect to Dwight Howard," said Dan Fegan, Howard's agent, via ESPN. He added, "What I can say, with 100 percent certainty, is that Dwight has not and has never asked the Rockets for a trade. And neither have I."
Fegan's words were echoed by the athlete himself who commented, "Dan's statement is true. I have not asked the Rockets to trade me, nor have I talked about right trades. I want to win. I want this situation to work. I chose this team. And I'm not running because we have been faced with some adversity."
Despite these claims, it looks like the Houston Rockets are adamant on looking for potential NBA trade partners for Howard. Adrian Wojnarowksi of The Vertical further reported that league sources disclosed Daryl Morey squad "have started contacting teams about trading eight-time All-Star Dwight Howard." He added, "The Rockets are working with Howard's agent, Dan Fegan, on possible destinations."
For his part, Harden noted that the players do not have the power to influence the decisions of the execs with regard the future of his teammates.
"It's out of my control, so I just focus on what I can control," said Harden via USA Today, referring to the trade talks surrounding Howard.