The Houston Rockets were expected to have the first meeting with free agent center Dwight Howard shortly after midnight Eastern Time. While the Rockets contingent arrived to meet Howard for dinner, they were under the impression that they were the first to get in a word with Howard, but it looks like they may have been mistaken.
According to reports, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak snuck in a quick word with Howard before he went to meet with Houston.
ESPN Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Times passed along the reports:
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak met briefly with Dwight Howard in person shortly after 9 p.m., according to a league source
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) July 1, 2013
Source: Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak indeed met with Dwight Howard briefly after free agency started at 9:01 p.m. Lakers pushing hard…
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) July 1, 2013
It certainly is a curious move by Kupchak if the move came after midnight. There is a certain way things are supposed to go down during free agency, and if Kupchak did sneak in a meeting with Howard before he went to meet the Rockets he broke the free agency code.
Of course, this is Mitch Kupchak, so he doesn’t care one bit.
Free agency kicked off just after midnight, so be sure to stay tuned to FanSided.com throughout the free agency period as we keep you up to date with the latest news and rumors from around the league.