7:14pm: USA Today's Sam Amick tweets that Howard will meet with the large Rockets contingent (see below) at 9 p.m. PST Sunday when free agency officially begins.
6:59pm: Sam Amick of USA Today tweets that Howard's schedule next week in LA includes Warriors and Hawks on Monday and Mavericks and Lakers on Tuesday.
This comes after Dwight meets with the Rockets late Sunday night when the free agency period officially starts at midnight.
- ESPN.com's Ric Bucher earlier said Howard would not be meeting with the Warriors (Sulia link), but they have been granted the option to visit him, and will take that opportunity league sources tell him. This despite the unlikelihood the Warriors could afford Howard without a sign-and-trade (Sulia link).
6:14pm: Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Warriors owner Joe Lacob, GM Bob Myers and coach Mark Jackson will meet with Howard next week (Twitter).
5:51pm: The Dwight Howard drama continues as we come up on the month of July when teams, other than the Lakers, can pitch the big man on joining forces this summer. Dwight's the biggest question mark among the star free agents this summer, after the Lakers had initially appeared to be the frontrunners to retain the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Chris Paul is likely to re-sign with the Clippers after they traded a 2015 first round pick to hire Doc Rivers away from the Celtics, but now the Clippers might be making a move to challenge the Rockets, Mavericks and Lakers for D-12's services, reports Sports on Earth's Shaun Powell (Twitter links).
The Clippers have the OK from owner Donald Sterling to do whatever it takes, but the acqusition of Howard would depend on a salary and sign-and-trade options, since signing Paul and Howard to max contracts would be untenable under the current CBA with their cap space.
According to Powell, Howard wants to play with Paul because he feels the point guard would get him the ball. Despite both Doc and Paul wanting Howard, they won't pursue him at the expense of Blake Griffin (Twitter links). Here's some more surrounding Howard's upcoming week talking with various team's jockeying for his services.
- The Rockets are meeting with Howard first on Sunday night, with owner Leslie Alexander, CEO Tad Brown, general manager Daryl Morey, former stars Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler (the latter of whom comes via MyFoxHouston's Mark Berman), and current stars James Harden and Chandler Parsons, expected to be in attendance.
- But the Mavericks are also putting together a group to meet with Howard on Tuesday in Los Angeles, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (Twitter). Dirk Nowitzki and owner Mark Cuban are expected to be a part of the Mavs' formal pitch.
- ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramond Shelburne tweets that Dwight is expected to meet with at least four teams. Emphasis hers.
- Marc Berman of the New York Daily News believes Dwight will head to the Rockets if he leaves the Lakers.
- Kobe Bryant sat down with Mike Trudell at Lakers.com to share his thoughts on Howard's free agency and the importance of Howard arriving at his decision on his own.