Now that all of Dwight Howard’s free agent meetings have concluded and we await his decision, some of the details about what went down in these presentations are beginning to come out.
And at least in the case of the Rockets, Howard wanted front office input in addition to whatever else the franchise was trying to promise.
There were discussions about the Rockets’ ability to continue to build their roster, and Howard spoke about being including in decision-making — something Morey has routinely sought with stars — but no specific names were mentioned. Morey added that he is not looking to deal Omer Asik or Jeremy Lin.
“He absolutely did not insist on anything like that,” Morey said. “He’s focused on winning. He wants to be involved in process like all stars have, including James (Harden). To say he said any names is absolutely not true. He wants the best team possible and is interested in how we plan to do that.”
We’ve already heard this with Howard to some degree, when it was reported that he asked about how the team could add another max contract player should he end up choosing Houston as his free agent destination.
This also may be where the idea of pursuing Josh Smith alongside Howard originated, as he’s one of the other big names on the market that should fetch something approaching a maximum level deal.
The problem with all of this, of course, is the restrictive nature of the league’s new collective bargaining agreement, which makes the tax penalties outrageous for teams that decide to acquire players that would send them far over the salary cap. Houston is not the Lakers or the Knicks, and won’t sign up for that type of financial commitment for Howard, or for anyone else.
As for wanting roster input, as Morey said, this is not uncommon for the main star on an NBA team. To what level the Rockets intend to listen will be the interesting part, and something tells me that once the ink is dry on a multi-year contract, some of these promises may be dialed back a bit in terms of how they’ll actually play out over the next several seasons.