The Houston Rockets will have the first shot at the Dwight Howard sweepstakes.
The team will send a sizable contingent to meet with the Lakers forward shortly after free agency opens at 12:01 a.m. Monday morning, a “source with knowledge of the meeting” told ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman.
Houston’s wooing party will reportedly include general manager Daryl Morey, coach Kevin McHale, owner Les Alexander, Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon and current players James Harden and Chandler Parsons. The Rockets are considered a favorite to land the seven-time All-Star, as are the Mavericks, who will send owner Mark Cuban and star forward Dirk Nowitzki to meet with Howard on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard.
Broussard also reports that it is unlikely Howard will re-sign with Los Angeles, where he has spent just one season. Howard will also reportedly sit down with the Hawks and Warriors early this week before finally meeting with the Lakers. The 27-year-old led the NBA in rebounding this season (12.4 per game) but finished with his lowest scoring average (17.1 points per game) since 2005-06 — his second season in the league.