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NBA roundup: Howard asks Rockets for additional star player

The SportsXchange

When free agent Dwight Howard met with a delegation from the Houston Rockets on Sunday night in Los Angeles, Howard's questions centered around whether the Rockets would add another free agent star to play with him and James Harden, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The Rockets met with Howard in Los Angeles represented by players Harden and Chandler Parsons, coach Kevin McHale, general manager Daryl Morey, owner Les Alexander and former Rockets greats Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon. Former Rockets center Yao Ming spoke with Howard via Skype from China and former NBA center Dikembe Mutombo recorded a video message for Howard, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Howard was also scheduled to meet with the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors on Monday and the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak had a brief in-person meeting with Howard shortly after 12:01 a.m. ET Monday when free agency began, according to ESPN Los Angeles.

--The Rockets, feeling confident that they will land Howard, have called several teams to inform them that guard Jeremy Lin and center Omer Asik are available, NBA sources reported.

---The New York Knicks finalized a trade for power forward Andrea Bargnani, ESPN reported. The deal cannot be made official until July 10.

The Knicks will send guard Steve Novak, center Marcus Camby, forward Quentin Richardson, a 2016 first-round pick and second-round picks in 2014 and 2017 to the Toronto Raptors for Bargnani.

The two sides were unable to complete the sign-and-trade deal Sunday night so the Knicks added Richardson on Monday morning to satisfy league trade requirements.

---The Knicks are also interested in Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Monta Ellis, but the chances of landing him are slim, CBS Sports reported.

---Eight teams are interested in free agent center Greg Oden, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Oden, who was drafted No. 1 by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2007, has not played in an NBA game since Dec. 5, 2009, because of chronic knee injuries.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs are all reportedly interested. However, ESPN.com reported that Oden is likely to choose from among five teams: the Spurs, Heat, Cavaliers, Celtics and Grizzlies.

---Free agent Andre Iguodala, who opted out of a $16 million contract for next season with the Denver Nuggets, reportedly will meet with six teams during the NBA free agency period.

According to Yahoo Sports, those teams are the Nuggets, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks, a source told Yahoo! Sports.

---The Pelicans are committed to giving guard Tyreke Evans, a restricted free agent with the Sacramento Kings, a four-year, $44 million offer sheet when the NBA's moratorium on signing players ends July 10, according to league sources.

---Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kevin Durant told The Oklahoman that switching his representation to Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports is not a sign that he will leave the Thunder once he is eligible for free agency.

---The Warriors are looking to trade forward David Lee, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Lee has three years and $44 million left on his contract. Lee averaged 18.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game last season, when he was named to the All-Star team.

---The Los Angeles Clippers contacted free agent shooting guard O.J. Mayo, according to multiple reports.

---Several teams are interested in free agent center Andrew Bynum, who has not played for over a year because of knee troubles.

Bynum's agent, David Lee, told Yahoo! Sports that Bynum will start training in Atlanta this month after finishing his rehabilitation from knee surgery. However, Bynum will not work out for any teams as he looks to resume his career.

---Point guard C.J. Watson, who played for the Brooklyn Nets last season, has agreed to a two-year contract with the Indiana Pacers, multiple media outlets reported.

Watson averaged 8.6 points and 1.9 assists in 80 games for the Nets last season.

The Pacers announced they have signed Nate McMillan as an associate head coach.

---Free agent Josh Smith met with the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night, across Los Angeles from where the Rockets were meeting with Howard.
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