Apr 17, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) is defended by Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) and center Omer Asik (3) at the Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Rockets 99-95 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN has reported that as soon as the NBA free agent period begins Monday morning, Los Angeles Lakers star Dwight Howard will be visiting with a group from the Houston Rockets.
While a possibility remains for Howard to stay on the Lakers roster, Chris Broussard of ESPN said he is “unlikely” to return. Many see Texas in Howard’s near future, but both Dallas and Houston will be battling for the center. The fight begins July 1 when players are first allowed to meet with free agents.
Howard is expected to meet with Houston’s coach Kevin McHale, general manager Daryl Morey, and owner Les Alexander along with former Rockets star Hakeem Olajuwonand current players James Harden and Chandler Parsons in Los Angeles. He will also meet with the Dallas Mavericks and possibly the Atlanta Hawks as well before discussing options with the Lakers.
Because Howard is currently at the height of his game, he is looking to truly lead a team after being overshadowed by Kobe Bryant. Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni’s system is not the best fit for Howard, and its similarities to the Rockets may hurt Houston’s chances of gaining him. Olajuwon will definitely be a positive asset to the Houston group.