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Rockets to get first free agent meeting with Dwight Howard

Jun 29, 2013, 8:00 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard speaks during a press conference at the Lakers practice facility in El Segundo, California Reuters

Once the free agency period officially opens after midnight Eastern on July 1, the most coveted player on the market will be with one of the teams he is strongly considering signing a max contract with for the next four years.

That meeting has been set, and the team that will get the first crack at making its sales pitch to Dwight Howard is the Houston Rockets.

According to multiple reports, a group from the Rockets will have dinner with Howard Sunday night in Los Angeles, after which the official presentation will be made.

CSN Houston has confirmed some of the details as to who will be in attendance.

The group will include the following: CEO Tad Brown, GM Daryl Morey, Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and Chandler Parsons.

Rockets owner Leslie Alexander is also expected to be in attendance, as is James Hardenreports Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

Howard is expected to meet with at least four teams other than the Lakers during free agency — the Rockets, Mavericks, Warriors, and Hawks.

ESPN’s Chris Broussard reports that Dallas will meet with Howard on Tuesday (with Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki representing), while Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Warriors will also meet with Howard in Los Angeles next week.

The Golden State contingent will include owner Joe Lacob, GM Bob Myers and head coach Mark Jackson, but unless they plan on convincing Dwight to sign with the Warriors for far, far less than the max contract he can command, the meeting will be for show more than anything else.

Even if Howard were to ultimately decide on the Warriors, the Lakers would have to be convinced to sign and trade him for that make any sense for him financially. And for a variety of reasons, that’s not going to happen.

As a reminder, Howard will leave an extra contract year and around $30 million on the table if he decides to leave the Lakers. Houston and Dallas are considered the frontrunners for where Howard would end up should he ultimately make that decision.

  1. apkyletexas - Jun 29, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    >”As a reminder, Howard will leave an extra contract year and around $30 million on the table if he decides to leave the Lakers.”

    Look at how badly that hurt Lebron’s bank account… The dude is practically living on the streets, never sure where his next meal might come from.

    • melkipershero - Jun 29, 2013 at 8:26 PM

      Lebron signed his contract under the old CBA. While he didnt get the max he still got 100 million +

    • rohlo - Jun 30, 2013 at 6:19 PM

      he wont lose 30 million…it is way less as the tax difference beign taxes are higher in cali and there is none in texas.. he will only lose about 7-10 mill,which is nothign and with it a 4 year deal he will get one more big deal after the asian endorsment money in hosuton as the rockets have aa big following in asia still from yao and now lin… those crooked politicians in sacramento would get a huge chunk of howards contract if he were sign in cali.. which is why the warriors meeting with him is pointless.they cant offer him as much and the taxes in cali…not happening with the warriors.. its gonna be houston and he has even said he is intrigued to play there with a hall of fame big man as coach..he workd out with oljuwon in the summers,etc… its gonna be houston..

      • Anoesis - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:22 PM

        Without boring you with all the formulas and calculations:

        According to Forbes Howard stands to save $15.1 million in taxes by signing with the Rockets. But that also comes with one less year on a contract and $30 million less total.

        Lakers Offer: 5 years — $118 million
        Rockets Offer: 4 years — $87.6 million
        Lakers annual pay raises: 7.5%
        Rockets annual pay raises: 4.5%

        “This means that by signing with the Houston Rockets, Howard could save approximately $15.1 million ($15,700,000 less $600,000) in state income taxes on his next contract. While that doesn’t make up the full $30,000,000 gross difference, it certainly eases the pain, and may be enough to convince Howard to flee for what he perceives to be a better basketball situation.”

        The “less $600,000” is the tax he’d still have to pay playing 49 games in states with their own income tax outside of Texas.

        Another argument benefiting a Howard move to Houston: Adjusted for cost of living, the average Houston wage of $59,838 is worth $66,933, tops in the nation.

        In addition Howard may want to be able to negotiate a new (larger) contract in four years instead of five. Assuming he remains injury-free, of course, as well as assuming he doesn’t get traded to a state with an income tax, like New Jersey.

        There are lots of things for Howard to consider before he signs with a team but, while taxes are certain to be a part of that, making the “no income tax” argument into some kind of deal-breaker or -maker is pretty thin.

  2. tigershark49 - Jun 29, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    If howard leaves, the Lakers should blow it up.

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:02 AM

      HELL NO

    • qadrir - Jun 30, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      The contest is between Rockets and Mavericks. Which to me is no contest.
      It’s Rockets who he’s will end up with.

  3. badintent - Jun 29, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    McHale can teach him to do the double cross step like his old Celtic days. Then Howard will finally have a real offensive paint program.LBJ not eating at Denny’s yet with Shane. But Shane is the man.

    • iceturkee - Jun 30, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      if dwine wanted to extend his offensive game, he would have already done it, not in his 10th year in the league!

      • badintent - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:21 AM

        He can always learn and he should. From the best to play power forward. You’re never to old to learn new tricks even for an old dog like Howard. Just move your feet , and pump your arms.20,000 points later , your are Kevin McHale. Class dismissed.

  4. JMClarkent - Jun 29, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Dream, Clyde and … Chandler Parsons? James Harden needs to get his ass out of bed!

  5. booonly - Jun 29, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    this man is such a spoiled ass. To hell with him. I’m so tired of him & his drama.

  6. 13arod - Jun 29, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Houston is in a bad position who ever sees him last has a good chance to sign him

    • rohlo - Jun 30, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      first impressions!!! i wouldnt be surprised if he cancelled other meeting after meeting with the rockets.. the rockets owner is loaded and he came out and said he will spend and offer what ever it takes and will pay luxury taxes..he said he wants his team back in title contention and to add the two title they have.. all in!!!

  7. stayhigh_247 - Jun 29, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    Dwights mind is already made up, he’s just going through the motions.

  8. logisticalvoices - Jun 29, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    The Decision, Part II

    • mazblast - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      Hardly. LeBron was clearly the best at his position. I’ve never been impressed with Howard’s overall game–no post moves, little offensive movement to get the ball, and of course the execrable FT shooting.

  9. cluelessdufus - Jun 29, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    If Howard takes the deal from the Lakers [5 years 110 million] then he has to pay 13% in taxes, compared to Houston’s deal of 4 years 88 million with no tax cut and makes more money and a chance at a ring.

    • rtlguru - Jun 29, 2013 at 11:05 PM

      Not quite. Howard will still have to pay state taxes on roughly 40% of his salary because he has to pay taxes for road games in states with state tax.

      It makes the numbers closer, yes.

      • rohlo - Jun 30, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        wrong..his paychecks come from a buisness based in texas!! you are way off!! plus he will get the asian endorsements as rockets are still the popular team in asia from the yao days and now lin and the rockets are playing in the philippines this pre-season against the nuggets!! thats exta millions untaxed from asia market!

      • Anoesis - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:26 AM

        rohio: Athletes are not businesses and must pay the appropriate tax wherever they play. It’s pretty simple to Google it.

  10. dyn0myte - Jun 29, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    As a long time Laker fan, all I can say is

    I have complete confidence in Lakers Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, Jim Buss

    …to destroy the Los Angeles Laker’s legacy of success.

    Upon taking control of the team, he vowed to “change the Laker culture”.

    I believe he will.

    Thanks Jimmy

  11. daddyghi - Jun 29, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Dwight Howard: “I’m going to take my talents to South Beach”

    • melkipershero - Jun 30, 2013 at 12:58 AM

      They dont have cap space or assets to make a move for Dwight.

      Dwight – “Right. Can I go anyway?”

      • daddyghi - Jun 30, 2013 at 1:42 PM

        gullible… i was just trying to make fun of dwight that he might pull off a “the decision” act, man.. at this point of time, i dont even care where he ends up… the guy’s a crying diva and a disaster waiting to happen..

  12. ji8888 - Jun 30, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    I don’t see the difference with Kevin Mchale and Mike D’antoni style of coaching. Dwight has publicly hinted that the fast pace style he was in the Magic and D’Antoni messed up his game. So Mchale wont be any different. Also, I’ve heard James Harden is a black hole when it’s about clutch situations. I’ve heard past teammates calling him selfish and not communicative.

    • melkipershero - Jun 30, 2013 at 12:57 AM

      You must be a Lakers fan. I think it has more to do with Dwight saying from the get go the Lakers werent a place he was interested in. The Lakers traded for him anyway. This is their fault.

      • ji8888 - Jun 30, 2013 at 1:17 AM

        I’m a fan of neither. Looking at through a basketball prospective. The coaching comparisons of D’Antoni and Mchale are practically the same. So Dwight would be looking at the same idea which messed it all up.

      • teambringitstrong - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        You must be a Laker hater. Dwight said all the right things when he got to the Southland. Then he found out that his clown act wasn’t welcomed. Let the CJ Memphis of the NBA go anywhere he wants just don’t suit up in purple and gold anymore.

    • rohlo - Jun 30, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      the reason the rockets played that way is because they played with what they had.they werent gonna showcase asik over harden..mchale traditionaly playd the offense dwight and out! ie: see kevin garnett in his young days in minnesota!! mchale isnt a run and gun coach…he had to coach that way in houston as it was their strength!

  13. thekingdave - Jun 30, 2013 at 1:29 AM


    The coaching comparisons are the same according to who? The Rockets did not play at this pace and live and die by the three in 2012 without Harden. They adapt their style of play the way the roster dictates. If by some small chance they pull off the Dwight thing, they will heavily run their offense through him.

    • ji8888 - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:46 AM

      Rockets have always been a sole 3 point shooting team with Mchale as coach. Even before Harden they had Kevin Martin who also is a perimeter guy. D’Antoni and Mchale are practically clones to each other on coaching. So why is Dwight going to have to deal with the same agenda?

      Like I said above too. Harden is a black hole not knowing if he’s a PG or SG. Also to be fair. Nobody knows if Kobe will ever be the same after his torn achilles, which is the worse type of basketball injury.

      • thekingdave - Jun 30, 2013 at 5:33 AM


        Ugh. Man I just love people who make things up and stubbornly keep running with it. McHale and D’Antoni are in no way “coaching clones”. Like I said, McHale has run his offense at a fast pace because of the lack of a big man. Every quote on the subject attributed to him backs that up. He ideally wants a legit guy in the post and to run the offense through him. This is what they’re selling to Dwight. Come on man.

      • rohlo - Jun 30, 2013 at 6:29 PM

        because they had no low post players… ge t a clue dude you play to your rosters strengths!! asik is a pure rebounder and not a pure scorer.. d’antoni had had big men whereever he has been and still playd the same..ny he had amare and co and in phoenix he had amare.. mchale had garnett in minnesota and they played the offense thru him…do your homework!!!

  14. raiderinvader - Jun 30, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    Dwight will take flight with the rockets !

  15. sdchicken - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    I’m a Lakers fan, but to look at his situation realistically the Lakers have an old declining team. By the time Kobe, Nash, and Pau retire he will have spent 3 years losing in the second of the playoffs. Pairing with an up and coming star like Harden is probably the smart move.

  16. fotydaze - Jun 30, 2013 at 6:07 AM

    Keep in mind, in Texas no state tax, in Los Angeles you pay more taxes, but in Los Angeles you matter, ask Chris Paul how many national commercials he had in NO. All Dwight needs to do is man up! It takes a strong personality to lead the lakers. I don’t think he has what Magic, Shaq and Kobe have, but as a laker fan I hope he discovers it.

    • teambringitstrong - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      For all you sheep pounding about no state income tax, remember this:
      States need revenue to function, and these states will have to make up for the lack of income tax somehow. New Hampshire and Texas, for example, make up for it in property taxes. Both states have some of the highest property taxes in the nation. The cost of higher property taxes, sales taxes, fuel taxes, and other taxes could amount to higher overall taxes in some of these states.
      Stop repeating everything you see or hear and learn to do an exhaustive research, not an agenda driven research.

      • mazblast - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        No amount of higher property taxes is going to offset California’s punitively progressive income taxes. The property tax RATES in Texas may be higher than in Cali, but the VALUATIONS of the properties make the taxes on equivalent houses much higher out west.

    • rohlo - Jun 30, 2013 at 6:32 PM

      plenty of endorsement in hosuton and untaxed asian money! rockets are the most popular team in asia!! tmac still gets money from his days with yao and he is done as a player basically… rockets play in the pre-season this year in philippines as well… chris paul is good,but overated imo..guy has never gotten past second round of playoffs and he choked with a good team this year in clipper land..paul is a diva as well!

  17. luz56 - Jun 30, 2013 at 7:12 AM

    Jim Buss know as the fastest sperm that day continues the make keystone cop blunders…let your sis Jeanie take over and you can sail off into the California sunset. The Lakers will rebound if this happens… Howard is what most athletes are today… Self centered, egomaniacs, take no responsibility thugs that hide behind a union…

  18. selowitch - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    The fact is that quality big men are really hard to come by in today’s NBA, so when you have a chance to land one like Howard, it makes sense to do everything possible to make it happen.

    • iceturkee - Jun 30, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      too bad coward doesn’t fit the bill anymore.

  19. ddmcd1974 - Jun 30, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Texas has higher sales and prop tax than Cali? You must be only the Cali bud. You can buy 3 houses for 1 in LA. And yes you can get the beach in Texas. He can buy a beach house and a home in Houston for the 1 in LA.

    • Anoesis - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:41 AM

      He’s half right-

      Sales tax:
      Texas 8.14%
      California: 8.38%

      Property tax:
      Texas: 1.74% of mean home value
      California: 0.80% of mean home value

  20. themars211 - Jun 30, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Who have you ever heard talk about buying a beach house in Texas? That does not sound too appealing. Let me see Galveston or Malibu? I wonder which one I would choose…

  21. thetooloftools - Jun 30, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Looks like Tarzan… plays like Jane. This guy has NO heart and just walks around not caring if his team win or loses. He will never lead any team to anything. If Kobe can’t motivate him nobody can.

  22. fruitcovejag - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Dwight says “I need people to want and like me. I need attention. Please, someone else, tell me how great I am. Please!”

  23. dylude - Jun 30, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    The property taxes of Cali are built into the property valuations of any mansions Dwight will own in Cali.

    You don’t have to do “exhaustive research” to know it’s cheaper to live in Texas than California.

    Maybe you should take a nap.

  24. thestillers412 - Jun 30, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    F. U. C. K. Dwight Howard he’s a selfish media whoring b a s t a r d I would never want this guy on my team

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