Rockets woo Dwight Howard with James Harden, Hakeem Olajuwon & Clyde Drexler


NBA free agency officially kicked off Sunday night at 12:01 EST. Dwight Howard is one of the most coveted free agents this year and teams have already jumped into action to lure him in. First Mitch Kupchak hit DH with a message.

“Quick hello and good luck,”

The Rockets rolled out the big guns for it’s meeting with Dwight. Current Rockets, James Harden, Chandler Parsons, coach Kevin McHale, general manager Daryl Morey, owner Les Alexander and Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. Plus Yao Ming via Skype from China, and Dikembe Mutombo recorded a video. The crux of the pitch emphasized the “marketing potential” with the Rockets. Especially in China, being that their Yao’s former team. They also planned to focus on youth and togetherness with their current roster.  A a legacy of one of the best big man in the game with head coach Kevin McHale.

Yao told KRIV-TV in Houston that when he was contacted by Rockets CEO Tad Brown and Morey to help with the team’s pitch to Howard, he told them he “would love to help.”

Yao, who spoke to KRIV-TV in a telephone interview from Beijing, said he spoke to Howard via Skype and told him the Rockets “have a young team, a talented team that has ability to reach championship level with you.”

Yao said he will be in Houston on July 11 and hopes to meet with Howard.

After a late-night hotel dinner, Morey tweeted that it was “great” meeting with Howard and “obvious” how he and Harden could be “the next great big/wing combo.”

“Dwight is focused on winning championships,” Morey told KRIV-TV. “So are we.”

The Rockets cleared away more cap space Sunday in advance of their meeting with Howard by waiving Aaron Brooks and Carlos Delfino. And then trading Thomas Robinson to the Blazers. Robinson is on his third NBA team in a year. The Rockets can offer DH an $88 million- 4 year contract. Howard is scheduled to meet with the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors on Monday and the Dallas Mavericks and Lakers on Tuesday. Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant are expected to be included on the pitch. Steve got started this AM