Dwight Howard will reportedly open free agency by meeting with the Rockets
Dwight Howard will meet with a Houston Rockets contingent in Los Angeles shortly after free agency begins at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, according to ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman.
The Rockets' group will include general manager Daryl Morey, head coach Kevin McHale, owner Les Alexander, players James Harden and Chandler Parsons, and Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon, the report states.
Howard also plans to meet with the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks before the Lakers, with whom he is reportedly unlikely to re-sign.
The meeting with the Mavs will take place on Tuesday, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard, and will include owner Mark Cuban and star Dirk Nowitzki.
Howard is expected to announce his decision on July 10.
From the ESPN Los Angeles report:
The Lakers can offer a max deal of $118 million for five seasons while other teams will be able to offer a maximum of $88 million over four years.THOMSEN: 2013 NBA free agency primer
The Lakers have been meeting with Howard's representatives for several weeks as they had an exclusive negotiating window until July 1st. Thursday evening general Manager Mitch Kupchak said he was "optimistic" the team could convince Howard to re-sign.
One person who is not expected to be at the Lakers meeting with Howard is former coach Phil Jackson, the fiance of Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss. Jackson is on his way to his second home in Montana, sources told ESPNLA's Ramona Shelburne. But, as one source put it, "it's not like they don't have phones there."