Houston Rockets: Hopeful for Howard

By Michael Ma

Apr 17, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles the ball with Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) in pursuit at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN, the Houston Rockets front office have received “hopeful signals” that Dwight Howard is considering making the move to Houston when he officially becomes a free agent on July 1.

Sources say that Howard and James Harden have been in communication since the Rockets were eliminated from the playoffs, and Howard will make a personal visit to Houston once the free agency period begins.

General Manager Daryl Morey has already begun plans to fit Howard on to the roster.  In the past week, Morey has talked to other teams about their interest in Thomas Robinson.  The no. 5 overall pick in 2012 was acquired by Houston from the Sacramento Kings in February, and shipping him away would create more salary cap space to offer a max contract to Howard.

One twist to the situation is that under the new CBA agreement, the Los Angeles Lakers  can offer a max deal of 5 years for no more than $120 million, but other teams can only offer Howard no more than four years, with $90 million as the max.

While we are still a month away from the official beginning of the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, the Rockets have to feel like they have a great shot at stealing him away from the Lakers.

The topic was discussed on ESPN’s First Take Friday morning, take a look: