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Rockets receiving ‘hopeful signals’ that Dwight Howard is seriously considering signing in Houston

Jun 1, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

Dwight Howard All-Star AP

Once the report came out that Dwight Howard was “most intrigued” by the Rockets in free agency, it was guaranteed that the Houston franchise would begin to put plans in motion to do everything in its power to give itself the best chance at landing the All-Star center this summer.

The Rockets let teams around the league know that Thomas Robinson could be had essentially for free, just so they could shed salary in an attempt to create the cap space necessary to sign Howard to the max contract he will require.

It would appear that these overtures from Houston have been well received by the Howard camp.

From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

Sources close to the process told ESPN.com that the Rockets have received what has been described as “hopeful signals” that Howard is seriously considering a jump from the Lakers to the Rockets after becoming a free agent July 1.

Although the Rockets are well aware that Howard has a penchant for changing his mind, sources say that Howard has conveyed his rising interest to Houston star swingman James Harden, a fellow West All-Star.

It’s no secret that the Rockets present what might be viewed as an easier path to success for Howard in the next stage of his career. While no championship is assured with Howard and James Harden as a team’s focal points, one isn’t expected in Houston, either — which may be as important as anything to Howard when choosing his free agent destination.

  1. saint1997 - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    I actually like the idea of Howard going to the Rockets. I know the Lakers will be angry, and rightfully so, but if he really wants to cement a legacy of his own and not follow in Shaqs footsteps this could be the place to go (even though I acknowledge Houston’s rich history of big men).

  2. saint1997 - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    I just feel bad for T-Rob, poor kid is trying to get adjusted and he keeps getting flicked around. Surely they would want to keep him and Parsons and trade some of their older, heavier contracts (perhaps try to move Omar Asik?)

    • money2long - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      asik is a stud

      • im2gr84u2h8on - Jun 1, 2013 at 12:58 PM

        Yeah, well Asik is who the Lakers will be asking for if they sign and trade Dwight. Unless they wanna give James Harden up. We ain’t taken Lin.

      • melkipershero - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:03 PM

        The Lakers cant get a player pick back in a sign and trade due to the new CBA. Dwight can sign the same deal as an outright FA as he could in a sign and trade. There will be no sign and trade for Dwight. Another reason the Lakers were idiots to trade for him.

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 1, 2013 at 5:05 PM

        @ mel

        Idiots? Hey, we got a working C for the season, even at 70% or so D12 we got 16/12/2. I’ll take that over Bynum’s –/–/– any day.

        If we lose D12, oh well, we lose him. At least we aren’t paying mega millions for the right to see Andrew Bynum dancing overseas on bad knees.

      • saint1997 - Jun 1, 2013 at 8:40 PM

        sorry my point was poorly expressed, I just don’t see Asik meshing well with Howard at all – just clogging up the paint. Unfortunately I think you would agree that Howard is more of a stud and works better with a kid like T-Rob

      • rockingrhino - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:33 PM

        Lakers were not an idiot for trading for him. They got more out him in one season than they would have gotten out of Andrew Byrum. The Sixers were the biggest losers in that deal.

        Of course, a year later who would think the Magic got the best of that deal?

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 1, 2013 at 6:37 PM

      Asik is only 26 yrs old. I know that T-Rob as you say is just 22 and Parsons is just 24 but it’s not like you’re talking about someone on the wrong side of 30…

      At this point, you want to construct a team and they need to consider how each of the parts will mesh and fit along side and with the other parts…

      That will be far more important than simply moving someone because he’s 26 yrs old…

      • saint1997 - Jun 1, 2013 at 8:39 PM

        yeh that was actually my point (that was poorly expressed). I don’t see Asik meshing well with Howard at all – just clogging up the paint.

  3. spthegr8 - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Ohhhhh god here we go again!! Make it STOP!! Please make it stop!!

  4. gmsalpha - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Howard is such a drama queen! He just loves the attention, and it’s disgusting. I don’t care where he ends up, as long as its not Miami.

    • soopreme - Jun 1, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      Heat fan here and the above statement is asinine.
      Can you open your eyes and see what is happening to us in this series with the Pacers.
      We are getting slaughtered in the paint.
      Howard would be the answer to all of the Heats problems and I would take him in a NY minute!!!

      • casualcommenter - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:12 AM

        Not a Heat fan and the above statement is asinine.

        The Lakers aren’t going to help the Heat create a monster team by facilitating a sign and trade under any circumstances. Also, they’re not interested in Wade – who is showing signs of age – and Bosh is not a franchise player who can carry a team to the playoffs.

        So that means the only contract a team over the luxury tax line like the Heat could offer Howard is the mini-mid-level exception. Something tells me he’s not interested in taking an 85% paycut.

        So any talk of Howard to Miami is idiotic.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        I always said that a Bosh for Howard trade would work for both teams. Bosh would provide more offense for the Lakers and he’s a good pick and roll defender. The would still have Pau Gasol and he would play a true center while Bosh moved back to Power Forward. In the D’Antoni offense, Bosh would essentially be the Amar’e Stoudamire. They would still have Nash, MWP, and eventually Kobe. That team would be better than this iteration with Howard. And like soopreme said, Howard would fit perfectly in with the Heat. He would then be competing for a championship for a few more years and the focus would be off of him since it’s still LeBron’s team.

      • melkipershero - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:05 PM

        Dwight cant be signed and traded since the Lakers are so deep into tax territory.

    • ddarqwon - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      Actually, Howard hasn’t said much if anything about his free agency since the season ended.
      What you are seeing is a lot of reports from writers and talking heads, citing “anonymous sources” or “people with knowledge…”, being presented as if they came straight from Dwight’s own mouth.
      They write these articles to lure you in without worry about any negative fallout because they know Howard will get the blame.
      Just check any number of the several articles about him that have been posted in the last week or so and see if you can find even one actual quote from Howard himself.

      • gmsalpha - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:50 AM

        It’s the fact that Howard is staying silent that makes this bad. He could easily make a statement that he’s looking forward to playing the next five years in Los Angeles, yet he doesn’t. I believe the reason is because he enjoys the attention. He wants to be courted. He has no intention of joining the Rockets, but he’s getting their hopes up nonetheless because he wants to be wanted. His silence is part of the problem.

      • ddarqwon - Oct 12, 2013 at 7:53 PM

        “He has no intention of joining the Rockets, but he’s getting their hopes up nonetheless…”

        Hmm…how’d that turn out.

      • doubledown44 - Jun 1, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        You are right, Howard “could easily make a statement that he’s looking forward to playing the next five years in Los Angeles” — if that was what he was definitely planning to do. I’m guessing that he either doesn’t know what he intends to do (and actually wants to hear pitches from other potential teams) or he knows that he wants to leave. In either of those scenarios, what could he say now that would improve his public image?

        I think most people would agree that Chris Paul is far likelier to stay in LA than Howard, but he hasn’t come out and said he is committed to staying with the Clippers. Why? Because there is zero benefit in doing so if you plan to listen to other teams. Even if Paul or Howard feels like they are 99% sure they are returning to LA, they shouldn’t say anything. If they did, and then actually ended up leaving, how bad would they end up looking?

      • ddarqwon - Jul 28, 2013 at 8:07 PM

        @gmsalpha:
        ” he enjoys the attention. He wants to be courted. He has no intention of joining the Rockets, but he’s getting their hopes up nonetheless because he wants to be wanted.”

        Well, how’d that work out, lol.

    • ocgunslinger - Jun 1, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      Or LA

  5. spthegr8 - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    As a Laker fan I don’t want him too go. But if he does leave then we move on. I just don’t know if I can deal with all NONE breaking news from the media!!

  6. mustangs2 - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    As a Houston fan, I don’t really want Howard on the team. I don’t believe he’s worth the headache he brings.

  7. realtalk90 - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    IF they let T ROB go dont send him far probably a next texas team. And where ever he lands i hope he out shines D HOWARD.

  8. true15 - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    any update on Gred Oden?

    • Kurt Helin - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      Not recently. Still working out, could sign with a team this summer but it depends on his knees, etc. If he is healthy some team will give him a small deal.

  9. casualcommenter - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Houston would be a tempting location for Howard. No state income tax (which helps boost his take-home pay even if his contract is technically smaller than the one the Lakers would offer), a more “relaxed” fanbase than the Lakers’, a star player who is a very, very willing passer (Harden), an exciting style that suits Howard’s strengths (uptempo, leaving more opportunities for lobs/put back dunks).

    Also, Omer Asik could be used either as a valuable trade chip to facilitate a sign and trade, or he could be kept to create the the best tandem of defensive centers in the NBA. Having Asik as a backup would allow Howard to play aggressively, since Asik has proven he can play 25+ minutes per game if needed.

  10. dyn0myte - Jun 1, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    The Jim Buss era Los Angeles Lakers will not be relevant.
    He is more interested in proving his basketball acumen than enabling those around him to succeed.

    Whatever his faults, it should be fairly obvious to Dwight that his best chance of success lies elsewhere.

  11. paulhargis53 - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Just exactly how many times do you Lakers fans have to be told that they CANNOT do a sign and trade?

    You peoples utter refusal to read and acknowledge this fact is mind boggling.

  12. jamieaadams - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    If Howard goes to the Rockets, how many days, weeks, months until the Chronicle has his photo on the sports page under the headline “Houston, We Have a Problem?”

    • mazblast - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      The best “hopeful signal” the Rockets could receive would be the news that Howard has signed with the Lakers. Or anywhere other than Houston, for that matter. He’s just…not…worth…all…the…money, let alone all the attendant drama.

    • patfic15 - Jun 1, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      1 month

  13. ProBasketballPundit - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Who’s ready for Dwightmare 2.0?

  14. soundsofsuccess7 - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    They can have Howard and the Lakers will take Paul…..

    • melkipershero - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      With all that cap space?

  15. glink123 - Jun 1, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Yea, because teams will be lining up to take on Asik’s back-loaded contract that jumps to $15 million in 2014. There’s a reason the Bulls didn’t match the offer sheet. Houston structured the contract in a way that makes Asik untouchable. He’s not a $15 million center. Add Howard’s $18 million, Harden’s $18 million, and Lin’s $15 million, and you’ve got $66 million tied up on 4 players, 2 of whom wouldn’t even start for more than half of the teams in the league.

  16. 32magicman - Jun 1, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    He is a 7 foot wimp. Take him away Houston. Please

    • melkipershero - Jun 1, 2013 at 8:22 PM

      Dwight is moody. He made it known the Lakers weren’t the place for him. Add in the the back injury and Dwight not being healthy all year I wouldn’t be surprised to see him revert back to his old form in Houston next year.

      • mazblast - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:25 PM

        You mean a very good defensive center with little offensive game (but who wants the ball), who can’t shoot free throws, and who never stops complaining about this, that, and the other?

  17. allen227 - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    He’s playing the Rockets.

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