Written by: JJ Baccari
Houston Rockets star guard James Harden has begun his recruitment of top free-agent Dwight Howard according to Alex Kennedy.
James Harden has already been recruiting several free agents, including Dwight Howard, to the Houston Rockets: tinyurl.com/pq5eo6s
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 23, 2013
Although the NBA season is not over yet, this could be a sign that the off-season has already begun, and another one that will be centered around the All-Star center.
When Howard was traded to the Lakers last summer, there was never a question of if he would sign long-term with the Lakers to become the darling of the town, it was a question of when. Now, after a underachieving, drama filled, injury full season, the Lakers find themselves in a deep hole for the Howard sweepstakes.
Howard is not the only free agent to be that Harden has started recruiting. There have been other players that Harden has contacted through text and phone calls.
After signing a max deal and making the playoff in his first season with the Rockets, Harden is not satisfied and seems to be aggressively trying to improve his team for 2013-14 season.
Now just because Harden has started recruiting Howard does not mean the Lakers are automatically out of the running to land him this season. The Lakers still have plenty to offer him.
Obviously there is the max deal of five years, $128 million that Howard has waiting for him if he decides to come back as a Laker, but also he will not have to share the spotlight with anyone after next season, the Lakers will be his team; Kobe, Pau, and Metta will all be off the books after next season giving Howard free reign to get whoever he wants.
This new is not exactly ideal for Laker fans, but the news does not mean that the race for Howard is over. If the Lakers can convince Howard to be patient for one more season, he can use the famous LeBron James quote “We didn’t come here to win one championship, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven…” after he puts together his own version of a “Big 3”.
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