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Free Agency, Latest News, NBA / May 20, 2013 / 12:09 pm

NBA Rumors: Dwight Howard Interested in Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks

dwight howard fires back at kobe bryant

When we last saw Dwight Howard, he may or may not have been letting Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak have it after DH was booted from the Lakers final game of the season. (Followed by Magic Johnson going off on Dwight on Twitter)

Now we have some news/rumors/reports of what Dwight Howard may be thinking as he eyes free agency this summer, and it looks like the Houston Rockets are at the top of his list.

From CBSSports.com:

Though Howard is adamant his free agency not be marred by the circus-like environment that surrounded his departure from Orlando last summer, word already has spread to multiple levels of his support staff that Howard re-signing with the Lakers is far from a done deal.

With six weeks to go before Howard becomes an unrestricted free agent, the team that is said to intrigue him the most is the Houston Rockets, according to multiple people briefed on internal conversations surrounding Howard’s free-agent decision. The Rockets have a young star, James Harden, who has proved himself worthy of playing the leading role for the franchise; a budding 3-point shooting threat in Chandler Parsons; a defensive-minded coach in Kevin McHale; and Omer Asik, the kind of 7-footer Howard is believed to want next to him in the frontcourt.

The Rockets are a couple of minor moves away from having room to sign Howard; they have a team option on Francisco Garcia’s $6.4 million and Carlos Delfino’s $3 million is fully non-guaranteed, for example. If they chose to or needed to make a trade to create room, they have numerous attractive young players on tradable contracts, such as 2012 No. 5 pick Thomas Robinson. Such assets could be moved to a team or teams under the cap to create room or packaged in a possible sign-and-trade with LA — if the Lakers became convinced Howard would leave and they’d receive nothing in return.

The Mavericks represent another franchise that intrigues Howard, and Dallas is a minor transaction or two away from having enough room to sign Howard outright as an unrestricted free agent. Howard plans to explore all such options, and a person briefed on his plans told CBSSports.com that there are “several” teams the free-agent center is “going to take a hard look at.”

At the end of the day, despite all of the nonsense of the past season, the Lakers still (on paper) hold the upper hand. Via the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, L.A. can sign him to a deal for more year and more money than any other team in the League (Note: The CBS article does point out that by signing with one of those Texas-based team, he wouldn’t have to pay any state income tax – a potential $10 million savings for howard).

That Houston setup would be intriguing, wouldn’t? Harden, Lin, Asik, Parsons, Howard and Daryl Morey’s other role players? Not a bad look.

Can you see Dwight leaving L.A. for Houston?

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  • eric t

    He’s gonna leave, mark my words…as a fan of the Lakers I hope he does us and himself justice and at least allow LA to execute a sign and trade, so we don’t loss him without receiving anything…Parsons, Asik, Thompson and Garcia for D12 is fair and allows the Lakers to retool without having to hang on those big contracts and go after Cp3…2014 will be the year of the free agent…Anybody believe in miracles…

  • http://twitter.com/petersengarrett Garrett Petersen

    while i like the idea of parsons. it would not be wise to acuire a bunch of mediocre players and not use all that free cap space for the summer of 2014

  • eric t

    I agree with what your saying @Garrett, but when you run the risk of losing our 2014 pick this yr with d12 leaving, I would rather us get mediocre picks, if the other option is him leaving without receiving anything back…with the expiring contracts of Pau, Metta, and Kb24…I think we will be primed and ready for an assault on #freeagency2014…

  • core Bean

    Lakers, just offer Howard a sign and trade to the ATL (his home town) for Al Horford. Straight up. No mucking around. Win-win for both teams.

    And no, I ain’t a Hawks fan.