Mar 3, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) and shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) rebound against Atlanta Hawks small forward Josh Smith (5) and center Johan Petro (10) during the game at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
With the bulk of the Houston Rockets attention on Dwight Howard at the moment, they are also mapping out their plan should Howard choose another destination.
Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported that in the initial meeting with Smith, the Rockets stated that they will give him a contract offer should Howard sign elsewhere.
“The Houston Rockets told Atlanta Hawks free-agent forward Josh Smith during their meeting Monday in Los Angeles that they will make him a contract offer if they don’t sign Los Angeles Lakers free-agent center Dwight Howard, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.
Smith understood the Rockets’ position and wasn’t offended. Smith hasn’t met with the Atlanta Hawks, who could pursue a sign-and-trade deal to get something in return for him.”
The Detroit Pistons are also heavily going after Smith, and reportedly will offer him a max contract.
It is still a likely scenario that even if the Rockets ultimately land Howard, they can still go after Smith via a sign-and-trade with the Atlanta Hawks. Howard has asked the Rockets about potentially adding a third max contract player, and Smith could fit into Howard’s liking as the two were AAU teammates in their hometown of Atlanta.
Howard has also reportedly left Los Angeles after his meetings with the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks to contemplate his ultimate decision.