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Report: Dwight Howard to meet with Rockets first

By Royce Young | NBA writer

Andrei Kirilenko will be an unrestricted free agent.    (USATSI)
Dwight Howard will reportedly meet with the Rockets first. (USATSI)

The Rockets will reportedly have the first crack at wooing Dwight Howard, and they're bringing a legend with them for help.

According to ESPN.com, the Rockets will meet with Howard on Monday, or actually, technically, late Sunday evening.

Players and teams aren't allowed to meet until 12:01 a.m. on July 1.

And here's the catch: According to the report, the Rockets are sending Hakeem Olajuwon along with general manager Daryl Morey, coach Kevin McHale, owner Les Alexander and players James Harden and Chandler Parsons as part of the group to recruit him.

In order for the Rockets to pull off signing Howard -- something they seem like prime contenders to do -- they'll likely have to move a couple of salaries off the books, including Thomas Robinson.

Howard will also reportedly meet with the Mavericks and Hawks before meeting with the Lakers. The Mavs will bring owner Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki.

The Lakers can offer Howard the most money, a full $118 million max for five seasons, while other teams can offer $88 million over four years.

Howard, 27, averaged 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds last season with the Lakers, a season in which he was recovering from back surgery.

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