Sources: Rockets Think They’re ‘Clear Leader’ for Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard JPGHe’s Dwight, so you never know but confirming previous reports, the Rockets think they’re the “clear leader” for Dwight Howard—and have already started working on a list of things to do to reconfigure the team around him. Before getting into the Rockets’ plans, insiders who think Houston is the leader in the clubhouse still think the Lakers could turn Howard around.

One source projects the Rockets with a 60% chance and the Lakers at 40%. There are no other real players unless Dallas owner Mark Cuban “pulls off a miracle.” With Dirk Nowitzki and a handful of spare parts, the best–or only–thing Cuban has going is his close relationship with Howard’s agent, Dan Fegan, who looked like the odd man out in Howard’s retinue, but now counts again as the one talking to the teams Dwight’s meeting with.

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Fegan is reportedly pushing Dallas–which may explain why the threadbare Mavericks keep bobbing up in this. Howard is reportedly receptive, but only to a point. Golden State, which wants Howard, got a meeting. However, it has no cap room and can’t be a player without a a sign-and-trade, which the Lakers aren’t likely to consider doing with them.

“It’s ridiculous they’re even meeting,” said a source. “Fegan is doing a favor for someone up there [in the Warrior organization].”

Meanwhile, the Rockets are close to making the sale, effectively selling themselves as Howard’s best chance to win a title on the basis of one player—James Harden.

OK, make that two if you throw in sharpshooting comer Chandler Parsons.

Unfortunately for Dwight’s title prospects, the rest of the roster is problematic. The Rockets have already started the rebuilding, er, reloading process, clearing $3.5 million off next season’s cap to give Howard, giving Thomas Robinson, the No. 5 pick in 2012, to Portland for two second-round picks.

“The Rockets were built to run up and down and are now going to have to play through Dwight, which they promised him they would do,” says a source. “If Omer Asik doesn’t work as a four, they’ll have to move him, which they can do.”

With Harden and Dwight, they would need a jump-shooting point guard. They’ll try to move Jeremy Lin but that’s not likely at those dollars [$8.4 million per for two more seasons]. They drafted Isaiah Canaan [No. 34 pick) from Murray State, who’ll help. He’s a point guard who’s more of a shooter, but can he start?

“They were all over trying to get Trey Burke on draft night but Utah made that deal.”

In other words, the Rockets are going to sign Dwight… and blow their team up?

Just like the Lakers, with $30 million less guaranteed!

But, hey, he’s Dwight. This could still go any which way.

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