The Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics tipped off Orlando Summer League play interested to see how major additions will fit into their success next year.
Prized free-agent Dwight Howard is heading to Houston and the Celtics hired former Butler coach Brad Stevens to replace Doc Rivers.
Rockets coach Kevin McHale said Sunday morning that the 27-year-old Howard should be a “seamless fit” with Houston.
“He can run the floor, block shots, he can finish and that’s all the stuff we want in our system,” McHale said after watching his summer league team defeat the Philadelphia 76ers 88-80. “We’re looking forward to developing something special.”
The 6-foot-11 Howard played his first eight NBA seasons with Orlando and last season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Boston President Danny Ainge, also at the Celtics-Orlando Magic game Sunday morning, said the high expectations for Stevens
“First of all, all coaching openings except for Jason Kidd, are for teams not having success,” Ainge said. “Organizations are impatient, fans are impatient, sports talk media is impatient. We live in a world of here and now and expectations are so high. We have fair and realistic expectations and we will manage them.
“Brad is humble, hard-working and about the process,” Ainge said. “We’re not sitting over his shoulder. We know he’s going to make some mistakes. ... He’ll get better and better, learn the NBA game and be able to lead.”
ROCKETS: Center Omer Asik formally asked the team to trade him in the wake of the team landing Howard in free agency.
However, the Rockets have no plans to grant Asik’s wish, according to an ESPN report.
After starting all 82 games for the Rockets last season and averaging 10.1 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks, Asik was not happy about his role being diminished.