Jerry Stackhouse wouldnt mind having Dwight Howard as his new teammate. But if it doesnt happen, he still believes foes need to watch out for Brooklyn.
Stackhouse, 37, said by phone Wednesday he will sign a one-year deal with the Nets for the veterans minimum of 1.35 million. Soon hell find out if Howard, who could be traded from Orlando to Brooklyn, will be a teammate.
I think its about 50-50 right now, Stackhouse, a 17-year veteran at shooting guard, said of whether the Nets will land Howard. But Im looking at it either way. He could come and take us to the top. But, if he doesnt (go to Brooklyn), getting (center) Brook Lopez back and the possibility of getting (forward Kris) Humphries back, thats still a very, very good, formidable team that can compete with anybody.
If the Nets trade for Howard, they would have to part with Lopez and very likely Humphries. If the deal doesnt get done, Stackhouse is optimistic Humphries, a free agent, would re-sign with Brooklyn.
Stackhouse, who played with Miami in 2010-11 and last season averaged 3.6 points in a limited role with Atlanta, said he called his Brooklyn coach Avery Johnson, once his Dallas boss, to ask about coaching possibilities. Stackhouse couldn't be assured he was going to get an offer in free agency to continue to play.
I just reached out more to Avery about coaching, the next phase of my career, and to pick his brain about that, said Stackhouse, who played for Johnson when he was the Mavericks coach from 2004-08. He was great. He said to look at this as an opportunity to still play and to broaden my base for coaching.
Stackhouse, who wont predict yet this will be his final season as a player, said he will be like another assistant coach for the Nets.
Im the modern-day Bill Russell, Stackhouse cracked about the legendary center who was Bostons head coach from 1966-69 while still a player.
The versatile Stackhouse also expects to have a radio show in New York. He has done work in recent years as an NBA TV analyst.
Stackhouse hopes the Nets soon will be able to contend with the defending champion Heat. Having played for Miami during the first year LeBron James and Chris Bosh had joined Dwyane Wade, he knows a bit about that gang.
Everybody is trying to add pieces that can help them, Stackhouse said of the Heat on Wednesday signing free agents Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. They got guys who can knock down shots. I would put nothing past (Heat president) Pat Riley. Hes the best.
Still, Stackhouse wasnt ready to say the moves make Miami downright scary.
You still just play with one ball, Stackhouse said.
Stackhouse said he wasnt surprised to see Allen leave the Celtics. With Allen having entered the NBA in 1996, one year after Stackhouse, the two long have been rivals at shooting guard.
The writing was on the wall, Stackhouse said of Allen leaving. You could see the changing of the guard. With Avery Bradley coming in (to replace Allen as a starter late last season), I dont know if that sat too well with (Allen).
As for Stackhouse, all is well with him, whether the Nets get Howard or not.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @christomasson