While plenty of fans and pundits have made the argument in recent weeks that the Rockets make the most sense as a destination for Dwight Howard, there's been no real indication that Howard has felt the same way. But that may be changing, as ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports the Rockets have been receiving "hopeful signals" that Howard will seriously consider signing in Houston.
According to Stein's sources, Howard has conveyed an interest in Houston to James Harden, who previously stated that he planned to be involved in recruiting free agents this summer. Stein adds that Howard has already indicated he'll field in-person pitches from the Rockets and Mavericks — more teams could be added to that list as free agency approaches.
The Rockets' hopeful outlook on Howard makes some sense, considering the rumor we heard yesterday — Houston is reportedly shopping Thomas Robinson in an effort to clear the cap space necessary to make Howard a max offer. According to Stein, Rockets GM Daryl Morey has spoken to multiple teams about Robinson, and sources tell the ESPN.com scribe that Morey has been leaving the impression that he believes Houston has a real shot at landing Howard.
Despite the Rockets' optimism, we know from past Dwight-related drama that the All-Star center isn't exactly decisive, so he may feel differently in a month than he does now. Stein also quotes one "longtime Howard-watcher" as saying that D12 has a penchant for "making everyone feel good about their chances."
If Howard were to sign with the Rockets, he'd be eligible for a contract of up to four years and about $87.59MM. With the Lakers, he could get up to five years and $117.95MM.