Rockets To Chase Both Howard & Paul

While the Rockets have been heavily tied to Dwight Howard for several months, he's not their only free agent target this summer.  The team is also planning a similar and simultaneous pursuit of Clippers guard Chris Paul, a person with knowledge of the club’s thinking told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

Another individual familiar with the team’s plans termed the two stars as “targets No. 1 and 1A.”  The difference, of course, is there have been far more indications that Howard will be receptive to the Rockets’ recruiting efforts.  Meanwhile, it's too early to know if Paul is disinterested or just keeping his thoughts on Houston private.

James Harden has spoken with Howard about the Rockets and playing in Houston, but he is even closer to Paul thanks to their time together with USA Basketball.  It still seems as though Howard is a more likely get for Houston than CP3 given the big man's fondness for coach Kevin McHale.

An individual with knowledge of Howard's thinking also says that he would be open to signing a four-year deal as he would be able to re-up as the NBA gets more TV money and, potentially, a fresh Collective Bargaining Agreement.  They'll have to free up cap room to land D12 as well and a Thomas Robinson deal has been pointed to by many as the easiest way to make space.  However, a person with knowledge of GM Daryl Morey's plans says there are about "20 other ways" that the finances can be worked out.

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