Posted June 29, 2013

Reports: Rockets to get first free agency meeting with Dwight Howard

Ben Golliver, Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers
(Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Dwight Howard will reportedly meet with four teams once he officially becomes a free agent. (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

The Rockets will be the first team to meet with Dwight Howard when the summer free agency period opens this weekend, according to multiple reports.

ESPN.com reports that Howard, set to become an unrestricted free agent, will meet with the Rockets delegation in Los Angeles.

The Rockets plan to send general manager Daryl Morey, coach Kevin McHale, owner Les Alexander, [Hall of fame center Hakeem] Olajuwon and current Rockets James Harden and Chandler Parsons to recruit Howard, the source said.

Yahoo! Sports also reports that the Rockets will be the first team to meet with Howard.

Free agency officially opens on Monday, July, 1 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time, or 9:01 p.m. Sunday in Los Angeles. Although teams and players can begin having contact as of July 1, deals cannot be officially consummated until the end of the free agency moratorium on July 10. Howard is reportedly expected to announce his decision shortly after the moratorium is lifted.

Howard, 27, averaged 17.1 points, 12.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in his only season with the Lakers after being acquired from the Magic in a four-team blockbuster trade last summer.

The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this week that Howard would meet with the Rockets, Mavericks and Hawks before giving the Lakers the final word. ESPN.com reports the Mavericks will meet with Howard on Tuesday. Yahoo! Sports reports Saturday that the Warriors would also meet with Howard next week.

The Lakers can offer Howard a five-year contract worth $118 million while outside suitors can offer him $88 million over four years, according to multiple reports.

RELATED: Ian Thomsen’s Free Agency Primer

One report this week indicated that Howard was “unlikely” to re-sign with the Lakers, but that hasn’t stopped the franchise from papering Los Angeles with billboards urging Howard to stay.

The seven-time All-Star told reporters after the Lakers were swept by the Spurs in the first round of the playoffs that he planned to “step away” before considering his free agency options.

“I’m going to step away from everything for a couple weeks and clear my head before I do or talk about anything, as far as next season,” Howard said in April. “I think I deserve that. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak told Lakers.com this week that he believes Howard is a Hall of Famer.

“He’s our future,” Kupchak said.

13 comments
joel_eustaquio2015
joel_eustaquio2015

I don't believe in the talents of J Harden? He is not K Durant. I also don't believe Dirk in Dallas he only won because Chandler is a good all around player

Revsoul2
Revsoul2

NEARLY EVERYONE (fans, critics, experts, former players), said D'antoni was a bad hire, before the hire his scouting report said he was stubborn, has no interest in Defense, tries to force players into schemes that don't fit them....

ALL of this and more proved to be true....

not the only problem but one of the most glaring

People can bad mouth coaches that have excellent players who win championships, but it is obvious that even with talent it's not a given to go all the way, you must have a general on the bench directing the plan

The only way things get better in LA is Howard has to leave because if he stays everyone will continue to drink the Jim Buss Kool Aid...

Something drastic has to happen b/c management has no clue right now

TylerAllen
TylerAllen

As dog hockey said "Career playoff numbers = 19.7 ppg and 14.1 rpg." 

The Lakers make me laugh! Blaming howard/dantoni/old players/ect!

They get this set of guys then hire no d antoni? who's idiot move was that?Dantoni?Howard?

Lakers are all fire d antoni!... and sure that will be a quick fix-ish...but all he did was come coach the lakers. and 3 future hall of famers...in los angeles! Its it really d'antoni's fault he with his system and this group of players was chosen over phil jackson! Sure you can fire him...but as long as the person who made that decision is still making decisions then well jimmy will ruin everything his brilliant father built and continue to look clueless in front of cameras!...unlike his sister.

The great Jerry Buss made 1 serious mistake! He gave it to jim and not jeanie!

bartmolina
bartmolina

Yet to prove he can earn a ring through blood and sweat. Trying to find an easy way out by jumping ship will again frustrate Howard when things at Dallas or Houston or Atlanta breaks down. Anywhere he goes is probably a 2-3 years hard work before able to play for the final. I am not sure Howard has the maturity to stick it out. Grow up and stay in one team until you can earn the ring.

IsaacMacklin
IsaacMacklin

"SO WHAT" HE GOT TO STEP UP IN BIG GAMES....!!!! STOP ACTING LIKE A BABY.

Mike26
Mike26

@Revsoul2 You need to wake up.  Buss is the OWNER and isn't going anywhere.  To believe otherwise is just stupid.

Skins'Fan
Skins'Fan

@TylerAllen Agreed on Buss' mistake but D'Antoni isn't a great coach. He deserves the blame he's getting. Great coaches can take any player and find a way to utilize them. He marginalized Pau Gasol for Earl Clark, I mean.... C'mon! He deserves his blame, he should have adapted to his players but he needs years to build a system and acquire his personnel to succeed. Like he did in Phoenix then began to in New York before it got tore down. He won't have that luxury with the Lakers' therefore it's a poor hire. He still deserves his criticism though.

Revsoul2
Revsoul2

@Mike26 @Revsoul2 ...

Who said anything about Buss leaving? He needs to change his ideology...Many seem to agree on that point. 

Many owners have changed their thought process and gained success, just look across the hall at the Clippers.

To read something that is not there is just stupid

newshamg
newshamg

@doghockey @IsaacMacklin Playoff numbers this year were 17 ppg and 11 rpg.

And his defence was quite simply crap. Hi defence always relied on athleticism more than innate defensive smarts - and he undeniably was athletically sub-par this year. If that is a permanent regression then a full max contract is a waste of money.


doghockey
doghockey

@newshamg He was obviously not 100% physically this year - who would be after major back surgery?  So health will be an issue going forward, but he is going to get a max contract regardless.

doghockey
doghockey

@Mike26 Considering that basketball is a team game he did both.  You guys certainly can get creative when you are looking for a reason to complain about a player.