Watch CBS News

Report: Celtics, Hawks To Meet With Dwight Howard

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Boston Celtics previously pursued Dwight Howard at the trade deadline, and new reports suggest that they still covet the former Houston Rockets center. The C's and Atlanta Hawks are the first two teams to "secure face-to-face recruiting meetings" with the 30-year-old impending free agent, according to a report by Chris Broussard and Marc Stein of ESPN.

Howard declined a $23.2 million player option with the Houston Rockets for 2016-17 and will become a free agent at midnight on July 1. He is reportedly set to meet with as many as five teams and the Miami Heat have expressed "preliminary interest" in his services, but the Celtics and Hawks are the first teams to book meetings.

According to ESPN, the Rockets' recent hiring of Mike D'Antoni as head coach spurred other teams to pursue Howard in free agency. D'Antoni and Howard clashed during the big man's time with the Los Angeles Lakers, adding to a long history of complaints about his maturity and attitude that have followed him throughout his career.

The perceived problems with Howard have apparently not deterred the Celtics from gauging interest in him. As a player, Howard would provide the Celtics with much-needed frontcourt help protecting the rim and rebounding the basketball. It would be a question of whether Celtics head coach Brad Stevens could bring the best out of him, and team president Danny Ainge certainly seems confident that the team could make it work.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.