With Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler joining them, the Rockets pitched Howard on leaving Los Angeles and joining All-Star James Harden in Houston.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey wrote on Twitter early Monday that it was great meeting with Howard and that having Olajuwon and Drexler there ''made it obvious how (Howard and Harden) could be the next (great) big/wing combo.''
Howard, who played last season with the Lakers after playing his first eight in Orlando, is also being pursued by Dallas and Atlanta, and the Lakers have said repeatedly they want to keep him.
Free agency opened at midnight EDT. Contracts can't be signed until July 10.