The Houston Rockets will get the first crack at prized free agent center Dwight Howard. The Rockets are pulling out all the stops, sending out their current superstar James Harden and a legend of the past in Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon.
Other teams in hot pursuit of the 7-footer include the Dallas Mavericks, who will send a contingent including Mark Cuban and superstar Dirk Nowitzki, the Golden State Warriors as well as his current team, the Los Angeles Lakers, who by all accounts have very little chance at retaining the big man.
The odds-on favorites at this point seem like the Rockets. Howard is intrigued by a young team with core pieces in Harden and ascending players like Chandler Parsons that has a chance to compete for years to come if it adds that all-elusive big man. Potentially learning under the tutelage of one of all the all-time greats in Olajuwon can’t hurt either.
Howard will certainly have teams lining up at his door in what is the second recruitment of the big man in as many seasons. The Rockets certainly seem like the best long-term fit, though they would have to pull off a sign-and-trade with the Lakers and potentially part with a few of their key young pieces in order to obtain Howard’s services, which is something I don’t think they are willing to do.
The Rockets at this juncture seem like the front-runners. If it all comes to fruition, a core of Harden, Parsons and Howard is really something to build on and vaults them into contender status in the Western Conference.