Sources told ESPN.com that the Hornets and Rockets have held exploratory talks on a potential Howard deal since Houston made him available last week. But one source close to the talks expressed pessimism Tuesday that the sides will be able to find common ground on a deal.
The Rockets are believed to be seeking at least one future first-round pick for Howard
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
the Rockets contacted Toronto, perhaps the closest thing to a one-player-away team, and found zippo interest, sources say
Calvin Watkins of ESPN:
So, Boston, Toronto and Charlotte are seemingly out of the race. That leaves Atlanta and Miami – the teams Howard reportedly wants to join – as the only teams known to have talked with Houston and remain interested.
That’s obviously not a coincidence.
Howard will almost certainly opt out this summer. It’s hard to believe a team would offer enough to appease the Rockets without an assurance that Howard would re-sign.