It appears that the Houston Rockets still feel good about their chances of landing Dwight Howard this summer. However, according to the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets will also be targeting Chris Paul this July:
[pullquote]According to an individual with knowledge of Howard’s thinking, Howard has been interested in playing for Rockets coach Kevin McHale and assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff, citing among other things McHale’s style and playing history as a Hall of Famer.
With the Clippers’ coaching change, they likely also will be able to provide a coaching staff that would help entice Paul to stay in L.A.
Howard, 27, also has been open to signing a four-year contract, rather than the five-year deal the Lakers could offer, according to an individual with knowledge of his thinking, so he could time his return to free agency to coincide with the next NBA national television contracts and potentially a new collective bargaining agreement.
The Rockets would have work to do to create enough salary-cap room – the first season of Howard’s contract could be worth as much as $20.5 million; Paul’s could start at $18.7 million. But they have little concern that they would be able to offer a max contract.
Trading Thomas Robinson, a 6-10 forward, is considered the most likely means to get enough cap room, but according to a person with knowledge of their plans, “there are about 20 other ways.”[/pullquote]
While the Rockets would have to do a lot of shuffling to land both Howard and Paul, it seems that there’s now another team who believes they have a chance of landing these two top free agents. The Atlanta Hawks recently sent an email to their season ticket holders, telling them that landing D12 and CP3 is looking more and more possible.
However, you’d think that if the pair did want to team up, they’d rather do it in Houston where they can play with James Harden and Chandler Parsons. The reality is that pulling off such a move to land both of these guys still seems pretty far-fetched at this point, though.