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Rockets task Olajuwon with re-signing Dwight Howard if they pull off the trade

Jul 14, 2012, 9:48 AM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

The Rockets have a dream.

And to keep the dream, should they get the dream, they’re going to use the Dream.

Fox Sports Florida spoke with Hakeem Olajuwon regarding the Rockets’ prospective acquisition of Dwight Howard, and the Hall of Famer confirmed that should Houston pull off the biggest trade in franchise history (and there have been some doozies for the Rockets), Olajuwon will play a big part in convincing Howard to stay. From FSN Florida:

Olajuwon said he has been asked by the Rockets to talk to Howard about signing to remain long-term with Houston if a deal goes through to get the star center from Orlando. Olajuwon, who starred for the Rockets from 1984-2001 and led them to titles in 1994 and 1995, said he has accepted the possibility of speaking to Howard, whom he knows well and has brought in for workouts the past two summers at his ranch outside Houston.

In a phone interview with FOX Sports Florida from Amman, Jordan, where he lives half the year, Olajuwon said the request came from up high in the Rockets organization. He said it was relayed last week from Rockets athletic trainer Keith Jones to his personal assistant in Texas, who contacted Olajuwon in Jordan.

“The Rockets asked me to reach out, and I’ll talk to him (if the deal goes through),” Olajuwon said of Howard, who can become a free agent next summer and could arrive in Houston with no guarantee he will stay past 2012-13. “I’d like the talk to be more like real, and I’ll let him make his decisions after that.”

via Hakeem to help with Rockets’ Howard dream.

Olajuwon worked with Howard for multiple summers on improving his footwork and post moves, trying to instill some of his vast knowledge of the inside game to Howard, whose game is primarily predicated on dunking over people smaller than him. There were slight adjustments you could see, like the face-up short-range jumper Howard added last year which he credited to Olajuwon. For the most part, Howard tries not to make a big deal out of training with The Dream, but Howard does obviously respect Olajuwon for what he’s able to teach him.

But if the Rockets complete the trade they’re talking about for Howard, they’re going to have so little left. In a few reported versions of the trade, they would move all three of the new rookies, draft picks, Kevin Martin, and Chandler Parsons. That would clean out almost all the talent the Rockets have, which means next season would be more of the same or worse for Howard, with him as the best player. That’s going to be an extremely tough sell.

Furthermore, there’s a disconnect between Olajuwon’s generation and Howard’s. Olajuwon once had an awful relationship with Rockets management over not contending just like Howard, but the words “brand” and “marketing potential” never came into the conversation. There’s just a big difference between what NBA players valued back in 84-99, and what they value today. That difference may mean the most to Howard. And if he stays, Olajuwon could be a part of it, but the more than $25 million he’ll be getting for re-signing will likely help.

Either way, the Rockets have to pull off the move first.

  1. lookitsgreen - Jul 14, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    not all dreams come true… I would like it to so we can FINISH ALREADY with the Howard BS!

  2. drunkenjunk - Jul 14, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    I want Howard to go away to Europe, so we don’t have to hear him crying until the trade deadline.

    • lucky5934 - Jul 14, 2012 at 12:21 PM

      I currently live in Europe… and we do not want him here either!

      • raidmagic - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:40 PM

        That’s pretty dang funny.

      • cullenand99 - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:56 AM

        I hear the 廣東宏遠寶瑪仕華南虎 (Guangdong Southern Tigers) may be looking for a center.

    • worldbfree4me - Jul 14, 2012 at 5:56 PM

      Funny how I have not heard Howard himself talk about “trade me to this team or that team.” It’s the media that’s been doing all the talking. As far as I am concerned, Howard hasn’t asked for any of this attention. If Orlando can’t make a deal, he’ll simply walk in the off season.

      • lucky5934 - Jul 14, 2012 at 7:44 PM

        What, do you have to be right next to Howard to hear him say these comments? The media, the annoying pests that they are, did not make up story… The report and over report on these stories over and over again. But the foundation of this story began with Howard’s words and back and forth nature.

      • drunkenjunk - Jul 15, 2012 at 7:46 AM

        that’s because howard is afraid

  3. thekingdave - Jul 14, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Biggest trade in Rockets history? What an irresponsible thing to say. The trade as it stands puts us in the playoffs as a 6-8 seed until Howard is surrounded by talent. The McGrady, Barkley, and Drexler acquisitions solidified the Rockets as serious threats in the West.

  4. therealhtj - Jul 14, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Someone needs to tell the Dream to save his breath.

  5. bparmalee - Jul 14, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    What part of “I don’t want to play there and I won’t resign” is so hard for the Rockets to understand? People that saw their summer league game had to be impressed with their young players. This trade would destroy their franchise. Montiejunas looks great….Parsons…Lamb….Jones…. looked good. Why are they so desperate to blow this up before it starts? They should look to move Martin but keep these other guys and their picks. It just feels like since the amnestied Scola they think they now have to trade for Howard. They are basically bidding against themselves right now because the Lakers can’t take on salary. MOREY…HOWARD IS JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU!! Don’t kill a fun team.

  6. danielcp0303 - Jul 14, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Come on guys, you’re smarter than this. Would Morey really give up every player and pick (that’s the report) except for D Mo…for a Howard rental? It’s going to be much less.

    • therealhtj - Jul 14, 2012 at 11:05 AM

      Until it’s otherwise reported, yeah, that’s exactly what we believe.

      • inquisitiveman - Jul 14, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        Here is the report that says otherwise:

        The Rockets, according to a league source briefed on the discussions, are willing to take one bad contract back from the Magic, not two or three, as has been speculated. And in return, Houston will give up one of the their three first-round picks in last month’s Draft– Jeremy Lamb, Royce White or Terrence Jones –but only one.

        The Rockets would be willing to send a future draft pick to Orlando –presumably the Lottery-protected first-rounder Houston received this week from Toronto for guard Kyle Lowry — and send a veteran player to the Magic, helping Orlando clear $10 to $15 million worth of cap room, in exchange for the six-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year.

      • brutl - Jul 14, 2012 at 12:34 PM

        So you believe everything you read on blogs?
        Oh boy..

      • danielcp0303 - Jul 15, 2012 at 4:51 PM

        Well…it’s been otherwise reported. Check out the Chronicle and don’t believe everything ESPN says

  7. flyrocket31 - Jul 14, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Hakeem Olajuwon is by far my fav. Player of all time. He had the best footwork of in big man in history. Had a sweet jumper and could score anyway he could think of. I.e. 95′ series vs then MVP David Robinson. On top of that he played defense. He was amazing. Also forget Howard we have great you talent. Develop it! Move on to some other superstar.

  8. tannethrill - Jul 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Seems more to me like when you incite someone somewhere knowing they can’t come.

    Appeasing the fans who are for it knowing the Magic won’t bite or even leaking an offer they would take but wasn’t made to make those tans feel like you did all you can. Some might be against it but in the end they’ll be happy because it didn’t go down and the rest will feel like you gave it your best shot. Win Win

  9. proballerslounge - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    This would be intersting but Im ready for this Dwight saga to be over

  10. lakerluver - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    The Rocks don’t have a snow balls chance in heck of keeping him if they make this trade. I just don’t understand this dude. Can’t he see that he along with Kobe, Nash and Pau is a championship team? Miami, OKC, or no other team in the league could beat them 4 out of 7 games. That’s a team that would feature three 1st ballot Hall of Famers and another probable HOF’er in Pau. However, I guess being the number 1 option on a team is more important than the chance to win multiple titles to D12. Someone needs to explain to him that his offensive skills are not good enough to carry a team to a title. He ain’t Hakeem, Shaq, or Jabbar. Dude is getting some bad advice!!

  11. yousuxxors - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    who else misses the glorious age of big men who could do it all in the 90s??

  12. lmvs2012 - Jul 14, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    When is the trade deadline..anyone?

  13. hoops45 - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Rox are banking on the fact Howard won’t leave $30million on the table when it ultimately comes down to signing.

  14. shaft1234 - Jul 16, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Dwight Howard needs to grow up and learn from a classy person like Hakeem olajuwon. The best center of all times . If you don’t wamt to come to Houston, the hell with you. Be unhappy by yourself.

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