The Rockets met with All-Star free agent Dwight Howard on Sunday night in Los Angeles at the start of NBA free agency. By all accounts, the meeting went well for Houston. (That is to say, Houston thought it went well.) GM Daryl Morey, coach Kevin McHale, forwards James Harden and Chandler Parsons were in attendance, according to reports, along with Hall of Fame legends Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon; the latter has worked with Howard for years in the offseason.
Interestingly, the Houston Chronicle reports most of Howard's questions were about basketball and his fit with Houston. Specifically, the Chronicle says Howard wanted to know if and how the Rockets were poised to add another max-contract free agent this summer to go alongside himself and Harden.
Parsons and James Harden attended the meeting with Kevin McHale handling many of the questions about the team's potential and how Howard would be used in a retooled offense. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey discussed not only the plans going forward, but was also asked about how the Rockets were built to position themselves to be able to offer a second max contract.
Pretty bold move by Howard, after the Rockets cleared nearly $20 million to be able to fit Howard with Harden under a max contract. But Howard clearly wants a Miami-type Big 3 to play with.
The problem is, neither Harden nor Howard are as good as LeBron James, and even still, the Heat have only barely won their two titles and struggled without having a more balanced roster. But the Heat's struggles can be attributed to Dwyane Wade's decline. If the Rockets were to land, say, Josh Smith, they would have a trio of stars (sure, let's consider Smith a star here) with some upside.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported on Sunday that Houston has been exploring deals of Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin, which could potentially clear space for that second max contract this summer. The question beyond that is how the Rockets will fill in the spaces. But if they land Howard, they'll feel confident they can figure things out from there.