Dwight Howard rumors: Rockets seen as favorite, according to reports

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Dwight Howard could make his decision over the weekend, and reports point to Houston as his likely destination.

The Houston Rockets are considered the favorite to land superstar free agent Dwight Howard, according to multiple reports that have been released Friday. The Rockets met with Howard immediately after he became a free agent on July 1.

The Golden State Warriors -- one of Howard's five suitors -- are exploring trade possibilities besides sign-and-trade deals for the big man and have been given "strong indications" that the Rockets are the favorites to land Howard, according to USA TODAY's Sam Amick.

Multiple teams "fear" that the Rockets have taken the lead in the hunt for Howard, according to ESPN's Marc Stein."Whispers" around the NBA expect Houston to be Howard's destination.

The potential of being added to a core featuring James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik could be enough to sway Howard to leave the Los Angeles Lakers. The Rockets are also expected to explore sign-and-trade options with the Atlanta Hawks for Josh Smith, Howard's longtime friend and AAU teammate.

Howard asked about Houston's financial flexibility during their meeting and discussed the potential of adding a third star in addition to James Harden.

Howard could make his decision at any point now, but if he announces the Rockets as his new team, it wouldn't come as a surprise.

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