From Gabriel Lee, Lakers Nation: Dear Dwight Howard, By the time you read this, you would’ve had your meeting with the Houston Rockets already. And presumptively, they promised you the world. A chance to be the man again in a city where there’s no income tax. An opportunity to be surrounded by younger, more athletic players than you were in Los Angeles. Most importantly, they likely sold you on the prospect of a fresh start. The meetings you will have with Atlanta, Dallas and Golden State will be more of the same. They will try to capitalize on the power of now, the lingering emotions of guilt and failure that you’ve been dealing with since your first season with the Los Angeles Lakers ended in a first round sweep.
From Ramona Shelburne, ESPN LA: By dinnertime on Tuesday night it will finally, and fittingly, be on Dwight Howard. After three years of waiting, of wanting, of worrying about his future, Howard will finally be able to decide something and hopefully quickly move on into what comes next, wherever that may be. Despite the best efforts of Howard and his representatives not to create a frenzy around his meetings with the Rockets, Hawks, Warriors, Mavericks and Lakers this week, this process has been every bit the circus as what LeBron James went through in 2010. It’s just been drawn out over a longer period, rather than condensed into a wild two weeks and made-for-TV announcement special. It has certainly been just as damaging to his reputation. And yet as the process comes to a close finally, there’s a palpable sense amongst all involved that the immediate emotional reaction to whatever Howard decides will not be despair or elation, but rather relief.
From ActuariallySound, Silver Screen & Roll: With free agency officially underway, the Dwight Howard 24-hour news cycle has begun. Pundits from around the country will weigh in on where he should go and why he should go there. In ESPN’s latest edition of 5-on-5, four of the five responders chose Houston as the best place for Dwight with the fifth splitting his choice between LA and Houston. The consensus was that Houston was a much better fit with a young James Harden and a solid supporting cast of shooters to give Howard the space he needs to thrive. The biggest advantage the Lakers had over Houston was the ability to offer more money. Unfortunately, that may be the biggest myth perpetuating the discussion right now, for it is Houston that can actually offer Howard the most money.
From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: The Lakers finally get their time with Dwight Howard, meeting with him Tuesday and trying to persuade him to stay with the franchise for five more years. They will sell themselves as the 16-time NBA champions — how could they not? — and they also subtly will remind him Steve Nash is the only player currently under contract after next season. As in, there’s a massive shopping spree on the way in a year. They are expected to meet at a Beverly Hills location, not the Lakers’ facility, a minor example of Howard’s making the mountain come to the man. The Lakers considered adding some of their legendary names to the meeting but decided against it, looking toward the future instead of the past.
From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Before Kobe Bryant went down with his Achilles tendon injury, he sounded like a guy who wanted to play another year, maybe two, then hang them up. He dropped all kinds of hints about that. Now he is changing his tune. Kobe sat down for an interview with Mike Trudell of Lakers.com and talked about his legacy and how his injury has changed his perspective and how he wants to stick around. “I feel pretty damn confident I can be at a high level for at least another three years. I feel like how I was playing last year – I know I’ll be healthy and I’ll be ready to go this year – I know what I can bring. And I think I can easily do that for another three years.