Texas team seen as the early front-runners for the centre’s prized signature.
If the race to sign NBA superstar Dwight Howard was a horse race, the Houston Rockets would have just put their heads at the front of the pack as they entered the home straight.
Howard is the hottest free agent on the market in the wake of the news point guard Chris Paul intends on staying with the Los Angeles Clippers on a multi-year deal.
With the likes of Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Golden State and his current side all chasing his signature, Howard has opted to hear what others have to offer after being in Laker purple for just one season.
The decision to possibly leave the Lakers is testament to how unhappy he was last season in sharing the spotlight with Kobe Bryant or even being in his shadow.
Then there was the new style of play brought in by Mike D’Antoni which did not mesh well with Howard’s current skill set.
As a result, the grumblings from Howard have given cashed up teams, like the Rockets, the hope they can land the very talented, but at times petulant, big man.
The Rockets brought out the big guns for their meeting with Howard in Los Angeles with the likes of former club greats Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon and Yao Ming, trying to convince why he and young superstar James Harden could be the 1-2 punch needed to take the side to the top of the NBA West.
Howard will meet with the other potential suitors before sitting down to the Lakers to hear their proposal as to why he should stay, with the All-Star saying he will make his final decision by July 10.