|Rockets guard Kyle Lowry thinks it's time for a trade. (Getty Images)|
Houston Rockets point guard Kyle Lowry isn't mincing words, telling the Houston Chronicle that his strained relationship with coach Kevin McHale and the fact that he and Goran Dragic are both starting quality point guards means that the team needs to move him.
Lowry's beef with McHale reportedly dates to an in-game disagreement and the point guard feels he can't get along with his coach going forward.
"Things have to be addressed. The situation would have to be addressed. If things aren't addressed coaching-wise, I guess I have to be moved.”While McHale and GM Daryl Morey downplayed the incident and the tension, as you might expect, Lowry also concluded that if Dragic, who will be a free agent this summer, re-signs with the Rockets the team will face a major depth chart dilemma.
"We're both capable starters. We both want it. It's going to have to be a situation where they make a decision on one of us. It has nothing to do with Goran. I'm not happy with the way coaches handled things. If management wants to do something to keep Goran, I think I'll have to be moved.”Lowry, 26, had a tough season, missing a lengthy stretch of the season with a mysterious bacterial infection and then undergoing sports hernia surgery earlier this month. He averaged a career-high 14.3 points, 6.6 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 32.1 minutes per game this season but was moved from the starting spot to a reserve role after he came back from his illness in April.
Once he returns to full health, Lowry represents an excellent value given his contract situation. He's on the books for $5.75 million next season and has a partially guaranteed salary of $6.21 million for 2013-2014. Those are both reasonable contract figures, especially considering Lowry ranked as the No. 12 point guard in the NBA in terms of player efficiency this season. A team trading for him could count on good value and production for the next two seasons as Lowry heads into his prime.
Lowry is correct in saying that Dragic, also 26, is ready to become a full-time starting point guard next year. The Slovenian point guard put up career numbers -- 11.7 points, 5.3 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 26.5 minutes per game -- in 2011-12 and will likely command a salary equal to or greater than Lowry's this summer as one of the more coveted point guards on the free agent market.
The Rockets are probably best served moving one of their two point guards, although the health concerns might make it more difficult to move Lowry than he realizes. Regardless of Lowry's statements, teams were going to be contacting Morey about his point guards this summer, given their dual emergence and the difficulty of keeping both happy going forward. While confirming everyone's suspicions about the situation, Lowry's comments probably don't change Houston's approach in any meaningful way. The Rockets were going to be weighing offers regardless.