The Houston Rockets have been more than clear that they plan to make a move on Dwight Howard. Earlier this month, the team was fined by the NBA with tampering, which violates policy. The Rockets don’t seem to care in the least because the desire to sign Howard is so strong. The Los Angeles Lakers have no plans to hold up the white flag and allow Howard to walk, but the Rockets may acquire the center before the Lakers even open up discussions with him.
Last Wednesday, at a Time Warner Cable Media event, Lakers’ general manager Mitch Kupchak said that he expects Howard to test free agency, and that while the Lakers are on “pins and needles”, they aren’t doing anything to entice Howard. Kobe Bryant told ESPN that he spoke to Howard a couple of weeks ago, but hasn’t contacted him recently.
With an aging point guard, an injured shooting guard and a questionable coach, the Lakers aren’t the most appealing team right now. Zero communication doesn’t make things better.
While on the Rockets side, the players are doing the bidding. In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, this is what Chandler Parsons said.
“I talk to Dwight every day,” Parsons said. “I’ve created a relationship with him, where I feel like we’re very close. He hits me up about everything. I’ve covered pretty much every question he’s had. I basically tell him, ‘We have a chance to be really good without you next year. We’re going to have a good season. Why not come and join us, join our core guys who are for sure to be here and make us great, make us contend for a championship?’
James Harden will absolutely be the person who determines whether Houston gets Howard or not. According to Alex Kennedy, Harden has already been recruiting several free agents, including Howard, to the Rockets since May.
The Lakers have Howard’s bird rights. According to ESPN’s best basketball reporters, the Los Angeles Clippers are prepared to offer up Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe for Howard in a sign-and-trade exchange. Chris Paul and Howard have been sending texts back and forth, they are entertaining the idea of playing together. The Clippers could make it happen.
Bringing Griffin and Bledsoe would definitely help heal the wounds of losing Howard. If the Rockets pull a robbery, the Lakers lose Howard and get nothing.