Dwight Howard meets with Houston Rockets as NBA free agency begins

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard pulls in

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard pulls in a defensive rebound during the first half of a game against the Phoenix Suns. (Feb. 12, 2013) (Credit: AP)

The Houston Rockets have met with Dwight Howard to begin the NBA's free agency period.

With Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler joining them, the Rockets pitched Howard on leaving Los Angeles and joining All-Star James Harden in Houston.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey wrote on Twitter early Monday that it great meeting with Howard and that having Olajuwon and Drexler there "made it obvious how (Howard and Harden) could be the next (great) big/wing combo."

Howard, who played last season with the Lakers after playing his first eight in Orlando, is also being pursued by Dallas and Atlanta, and the Lakers have said repeatedly they want to keep him.

Free agency opened at midnight EDT. Contracts can't be signed until July 10.

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