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Rockets say meeting with Dwight Howard went well

Jul 1, 2013, 12:09 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

There are going to be a series of these reports in the coming days — no team is going to come out of its free agent meetings with Dwight Howard and say, “well, that sucked.”

But the Rockets went into the first meeting with free agent Dwight Howard feeling confident and they put on quite a pitch — Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler took part, and Yao Ming joined the pitch on Skype.

First came a tweet from Rocket GM Daryl Morey.

Then came a more detailed report at the Houston Chronicle.

After more than 2 ½ hours meeting with Howard and his representatives at the Bel-Air Hotel, the Rockets were encouraged by many things, but mostly that Howard’s interest seemed to be about the potential to win championships with the Rockets.

According to a person with knowledge of the conversations, “about 90 percent” of Howard’s questions were about the team, its potential and how he would fit.

The Rockets believe (and they are right) that if Howard really is basing his decision fully on basketball they are in the best position — Howard and James Harden with a few good role players around them move into the contender conversation.

But this is Dwight Howard and his decision making process in the past has not been exactly linear. He has other options — meetings with the Lakers, Mavericks, Hawks and Warriors — and things to consider. So expect more of these reports until Howard makes his decision public.

  1. lmoneyfresh - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    The difference in taxes between CA and TX cancel out much of the difference in salaries between LA and Hou, or at the very least lessen the difference. I think that part is much overhyped honestly. I think DH heads to Houston as the money will end up being close and he has a much better chance to win there.

    • lmoneyfresh - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      Not to mention the difference in cost of living between LA and Hou.

    • readysethike - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      Howard is probably thinking also about off the court oppurtunities, the fact he may have more exposure to doing stuff for hollywood and more endoresements. Like Chris Paul for example, i couldn’t remember him doing any commercials prior to being in N.O.

      • lmoneyfresh - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:30 PM

        Possibly, but I think that gets a bit overhyped too. Durant seems to do just fine in terms of exposure being in OKC. But you never know. Hard to know exactly what DH is looking for in that area.

      • redstar504 - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        Chris Paul had the right guard deal (CP3’s pits) and Jordan commercials while here in NOLA but the he got the big Cliff Paul campaign when he shifted over to LA.

        You can get endorsement opportunities outside of L.A. as well as movies. It is easer in L.A. because the industry is H.Q.’ed there for the most part.

        Back to Howard:

        I think the Lakers being good is good for the NBA as a whole but I can’t see Howard staying. The negatives are too huge:

        – He dislikes Mike d’Antoni’s system
        -The CA income tax vs. TX (not really a big deal but still a deal)
        -The L.A. roster is weak (it pains me to say this but there’s no way to sugar coat that)
        -L.A. does have the cash to deal with the new luxury tax now but is that really sustainable under the new CBA?

        The new CBA changed a lot of things and I think part of winning in this league now like the NFL is going to involve managing money right. Money managing involves hitting on draft picks which you have to have to hit on. The Lakers are a mess as far as outlook.

        That’s all negatives that L.A. could overcome (at least short term) because of a silly money TV deal but on top of that Kobe is out maybe out forever and if he returns he isn’t going to be the Kobe that crumpled to the ground. There aren’t many picks to speak of and there is Mike d’Antoni. Howard don’t like and d’Antoni isn’t going to change the way he does things to placate Howard ask Mello.

        The main draw was playing with Kobe and that’s gone. What does he have to stay in L.A., nothing but history and Howard looks like that a guy that is worried about himself and only himself so I doubt history is a big draw for him.

        I see Howard to either TX team Houston 1st, then going home to play in ATL being a wild card and the Lakers a distant 4th.

    • aboogy123456 - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      It’s very dumb for you to bring up the taxes argument and completely rule out marketing opportunities, because your argument doesn’t hold water. Yes, he will save tax money and day-to-day expenses living in Houston, but I’m willing to bet you that the marketing dollars in LA far outweighs that of Houston. So if we are talking about money, being in LA actually brings a lot more long term earning potential to Howard than just the extra year on his contract. You also bring up that Durant is doing just fine in OKC. Yes, that’s true, he’s a millionaire, but if he was in LA he’d be making a ton more money. Look at Derrick Rose, signed that huge contract with Adidas, and I’m sure that being in a big market had a lot do with it. So if you’re going to bring up the money argument, there is more to it than just taxes

      • lmoneyfresh - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:05 PM

        I don’t think you understood what I was saying when I said that Durant is doing just fine. I mean in terms of endorsements, movies, etc. He’s got a contract with Nike, Gatorade and has made at least one movie and a few commercials. Not really sure what else he’s missing out on by being in OKC?

      • aboogy123456 - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        You’re right, Durant has a ton of endorsements and commercials, but do you know what he’s missing out on? More money! I just looked up on google and saw his contract was for $60 million for 7 years. That is a lot of money, good for him, but if he was in LA the contract would undoubtedly be more. The reason is because Nike will make more money if their stars are in better markets, because they can sell more, so that star is worth more to them in a bigger market. It’s simple as that. I’m not saying that Dwight won’t go to the rockets, but the money argument favors LA, and substantially.

      • rohlo - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        houston isnt neccesarily a small market..its a major international city as wel vwith alot of international buisness.. houston and its surrounding metro areas and footprint is close to 8 million people..

      • aboogy123456 - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:00 PM

        8 million people in houston, but how much money do they spend?? There is a reason the cost of living is so much higher in places like New York and LA, they are great markets, not only in size but in how much money people spend.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:08 PM

        Houston is the 4th largest city in America. It isn’t a small market… No, it isn’t L.A. but Houston is much closer to LA than the majority of NBA cities…

        Based on TV market size, Houston is the 10th largest market of the NBA cities. Miami is only # 16. The Timberwolves in Minneapolis are ranked # 15, one spot ahead of Miami.

        LA is the number 2 sized market behind NYC.

        Dallas is the 5th largest NBA market, well ahead of #10 Houston.

    • cmarsh64 - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:18 PM

      I agree with you when you consider the taxes. I think Houston offers the best option for winning and making howard even a bigger personality in China with Yao and Lin Houston has a bigger fan base in China. Which should mean more Jersey sales and more money for D12. The core of this team can remain together as long as everyone doesn’t get to greedy. Harden,Howard,Lin,Parson and whoever you put at the 4 spot this is a strong lineup that will only get better.

  2. elcapitanfiscal - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Come on Mavs, your turn to please the queen!

  3. readysethike - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    i think the best possible option is Golden State. I don’t know if they need to unload David Lee to give Howard a max contract but if they didn’t that would seem to me to be the team with the most talent, more then Houston. Rockets have Chandler, Harden, and Lin. that may seem attractive to some, but Barnes, Klay and Curry will be all stars one day and out of that three seem to have a higher ceiling.

    • eboneseagles - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      With terrible contracts like Jefferson, Biedrens and now Lee it would be nearly impossible for this to happen. Might as well have said the heat are the best fit.

  4. jgreiner9 - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Don’t be surprised if he goes to the rockets that they send Lin and Asick to another team for a solid point guard. Daryl Morey is working on more than one deal right now, promise you that.

    • eboneseagles - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      Maybe for Chalmers? Helps the heat a lot in the front court. I think that’s a fair deal.

      • iritian - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        Why the hell would Houston want Chalmers? He is probably the worst starting point guard in the league. Sure Lin has a huge payday next year they want to move but atleast he has value at what he is currently being paid.

      • mcmofigga - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        this @iritian guy has no clue what he is talking about.

        worst point guard in league that came through for the Heat in big moments against Indy and SA when they needed him this year and against Indy and Bos last year.

        yeah dude you definitely watching some other NBA games if you think Lin has value

        hahahah

      • eboneseagles - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:04 PM

        Lol wow idk how that’s not a fair deal. I guess the money doesn’t work.

  5. bucs24 - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    The money isn’t going to matter LA has a old washed up team with a crap coach D12 doesn’t fit in his offense, LA has some dark days coming and when Kobe hangs them up there toast rockets will win more championships than lakers in the next 10 years

  6. mcmofigga - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Lets face it. Mitch, Kobe, Nash, Jim, Jeanie and now even Phil tweeted about telling Howard to stay put. I don’t understand why. The guy is not all that.

    Not sure why Hakeem, Clyde, Harden, Parson and Yao all want him as well. It makes not sense and here is why. Although he could be a better fit in Houston than LA since he will have all the heavy lifting and clutch shots taken by Harden and Parsons

    1st most important in conference finals and NBA finals you have to make FTs we saw what happened when Leonard and Ginobilli missed FTs who are decent FT shooters. In Game 2 of the series against CHI Wade misses a key FT to let CHI back in the game to send the game to OT. I can list you many situations where decent FT shooters miss FT in crucial times. D12 can;’t even make a FT in regular season games. He is a big liability in close games and can’t be trusted on the floor.

    Yes a healthy D12 is force in the paint but it clearly was not the case this year. I saw numerous point guard blow around him to stick layups off the glass so not sure if he still has his dominant force.

    As for his shot selections he has a hook shot which is just ok nothing to write home about. He can’t shoot an outside jump shot if left open and does not even half half the foot work that Hibbert showed. If a guy cannot learn how to shoot FTs knowing he sucks at them how is going to learn anything else. I don;’t care even if Hakim shows him how.

    Yeah he can grab boards but his attitude at times looks like he is just playing the motions and not interested at all.

    He is not much of a leader and does not seem to have the accolades to become one either this late in his career.

    So don’t understand why the Lakers want to build around him. they know they are loosing a star like Kobe and want another super star draw to gain more people to come here.

    But like I pointed out don’t see it at all.

    I think it would be a blessing in disguise to let him sign else where. I am not a Laker fan and still think he would be bad for them.

    You cannot get rid of D Antoni cause you cannot afford another coach and pay 3 coaches. Mike Brown, Da Antoni whose next.

    That being said Lakers should cut their looses embrace 2014 FA and go from there.

  7. libertarianvoter - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    One of Howard’s bigger beefs with the LAL is the system they run: early transition, first good shot, no post ups, lots of 3’s. If he doesn’t like the Laker system, he’s definitely not going to like the one the run in Houston, which has much the same philosophy, but by the time the big dummy figures that out, he’ll probably have already signed.

    • rohlo - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      genius they run that offense based on what they have on their roster..what? are they gonna feature omar asik down low when thye have harden??? the offense they ran last year was to their strengths as a team based on the current roster.. i guess u have a short memory!! rockets historically as a franchise have always featured a down low game!! plus mchale actually prefers a down low game,but he didnt have a proven scorer o nthe team in asik.he is a rebounder not a scoring threat! mchale had garnett in minnesota and they ran the offense thur him….. last year was the first year the rockets ran that with mchale!

      • elcapitanfiscal - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        rohlo, You expect a liberal to know anything about anything?

      • dyn0myte - Jul 1, 2013 at 5:23 PM

        I’m a liberal and I may not know “anything about anything”, but…

        I believe Kevin McHale to be a much more flexible coach than Mike D’Antoni – who only grudgingly adjusted his offensive scheme last season when the wheels began to come off.

        D’Antoni seems like a good guy, but he was a poor choice made by an arrogant owner who would rather lead his team to failure than let another guide them to success.

        To the best of my knowledge, the Rocket’s organization does not have these inherent flaws and has greater potential for the future.

        Right now, I’d place the Lakers as Dwight’s 3rd choice, behind the Rockets and the Mavs. If he was leaning towards the Lakers, he could have saved himself from all the “Dwight Indecisive Again” articles by saying so publicly.

    • txtuff - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:20 PM

      At the meeting Kevin McHale told Howard he would cater the game towards him. Kinda solves that problem.

    • mazblast - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:45 PM

      elcapitanfiscal–A libertarian is way different from a liberal. Know what you’re talking about before you type.

  8. Sonny - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Bad sign when you can’t even get the guy to leave LA for a meeting, “lets show you this slide show of our beautiful Houston!”

  9. losanginsight - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Has Howard magically fixed is free throw problem or received a heart transplant?

  10. mazblast - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    Meetings, like surgery, are always characterized as having “gone well”. I’ll be pleasantly surprised the first time a surgery is pronounced “a dismal failure” or a GM comes out of a meeting with a free agent and says, “What a d-bag. I wouldn’t sign that freakin’ prima donna if you stuck a cattle prod up my a** and set it on full”.

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