The Rockets had what they felt was an "encouraging meeting" with Dwight Howard last night, and Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak was able to get in a quick word with the All-Star center as well. Houston and Los Angeles are among the teams expected to increase their pursuit of D12 in the coming days, so let's check out the latest rumblings on Howard:
- Although the Warriors appear willing to make the Lakers a competitive offer for Howard (story below), the two teams haven't engaged in sign-and-trade talks, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. According to Berger, for that to happen, Howard would have to indicate that the Warriors are his first choice, and even then, the Lakers may not be willing to engage. The team has "demonstrated no appetite" for a sign-and-trade so far, notes Berger (all Twitter links).
- The fact that Howard appears to be receptive to the extra efforts the Lakers are making to woo him suggest that he's still open to re-signing with the team, writes Sam Amick of USA Today.
- However, the Rockets have emerged as the frontrunner for Howard and the team's pitch last night did nothing to dampen D12's enthusiasm for Houston, says Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
- Wojnarowski, Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, and Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle all have details on Howard's meeting with the Rockets contingent in Los Angeles.
- Although the Warriors are viewed as a long shot for Howard, Golden State is willing to offer Andrew Bogut and either Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes to the Lakers in a sign-and-trade offer, reports Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group.