Among the interesting tidbits floating around the D-League Showcase in Reno, Nev., this week involved the possibility of the Rockets pairing Dwight Howard with Deron Williams in Houston -- an arrangement that now seems farfetched if not impossible.

Remember that the thrust of the Nets' multiple attempts to acquire Howard in a trade two seasons ago was to team him up with Williams, who the franchise was trying to re-sign. Both players were on board with teaming up, but the Nets were never able to satisfy Orlando's trade demands. Howard, of course, wound up getting dealt to the Lakers and famously bolted LA for the Rockets as a free agent this past summer.

But the subject of a Dwight-Deron duo was broached again in recent weeks, with the Rockets and Nets briefly delving into the particulars of a deal that would've sent Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin to the Nets for Williams. It made sense on many levels. The Nets would've gotten an insurance policy at center for the often-injured Brook Lopez (who has since been injured again and is out for the year). The Rockets would've solved their own center problem, as Asik doesn't want to remain in Houston. They've been trying to get off the Lin contract, and the Nets are one team that wouldn't mind his $15 million balloon payment next season. All the better to stick it to the Knicks.

But the teams shelved the idea, which never gained any traction. Now, it's probably dead for good with Williams undergoing multiple injections in his chronically bad ankles this week. "They're shooting him up like a race horse," said one rival executive who believes the Rockets no longer are willing to take a chance on Williams' fragile health.

In other news gathered from executives, agents and other sources in Reno this week:

• Speaking of the Rockets, powerful agent Arn Tellem remains hard at work trying to get Asik out of Houston, but the Turkish center's contract -- including a $15 million cash payment next season -- is a serious impediment. Tellem also is trying to get 2013 first-round pick Donatas Motiejunas out of Houston as well.