By John Otano
July 03, 2013

Dwight Howard and Josh Smith may be joining forces in Houston. (Fernando Medina/NBAE) Dwight Howard and Josh Smith may be joining forces in Houston. (Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

In an attempt to lure Dwight Howard away from re-signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Houston Rockets have interest in signing Josh Smith in hopes of securing Howard's services, according to a USA Today report.

Howard opened his free-agency period by meeting with the Rockets on Monday and according to the report, Howard and the Rockets discussed a possible pairing of Smith and Howard in Houston. The only way the Rockets could acquire Smith would be to convince the Atlanta Hawks to engage in a sign-and-trade deal in order for the Rockets to clear enough salary cap space to sign both Howard and Smith. 

According to a CBS Sports report, the Rockets have made point guard Jeremy Lin and center Omer Asik available on the trading block. Both players earn $8.3 million for each of the next two seasons. As part of their cap-clearing efforts, the Rockets traded Thomas Robinson to the Portland Trail Blazers last week along with waiving point guard Aaron Brooks and forward Carlos Delfino.

Smith and Howard were once teammates at the AAU level in their hometown of Atlanta. Howard met with the Dallas Mavericks and Lakers on Tuesday and has reportedly left Los Angeles to contemplate his future destination.

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