Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical

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Adrian Wojnarowski is the NBA columnist for Yahoo! Sports. His book "The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball's Most Improbable Dynasty"; was a New York Times best-seller. He is a 1991 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, where he considers Butler Gymnasium's rims to be the most giving in the game.

  • Rockets serve championship pitch at dinner with Dwight Howard

    The Houston Rockets' dinner presentation to free-agent center Dwight Howard at the Hotel Bel-Air centered on the franchise's championship history and an infrastructure designed to give Howard a chance at multiple titles, sources with knowledge of the meeting told Yahoo! Sports.

    Dwight Howard will also meet with the Mavericks, Hawks, Warriors and Lakers. (NBAE/Getty Images)Houston has emerged as the frontrunner to sign the Los Angeles Lakers center, league sources said, and those close to Howard confirmed late Sunday that the Rockets did nothing to dampen Howard's enthusiasm for the possibilities of playing for Houston.

    Beyond Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander, general manager Daryl Morey, his front office staff, and coach Kevin McHale, the organization brought Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler to make cases to Howard about ownership's long commitment to winning and its relationships with its iconic players.

    "Hakeem didn't say much, but what did he say was very impactful," one source in the room told Yahoo! Sports. Olajuwon talked about the Rockets as a destination for

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  • Warriors explore trading David Lee

    The Golden State Warriors  are exploring trade opportunities for All-Star forward David Lee and the three years, $44 million left on his contract, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Warriors forward David Lee had offseason surgery to repair a torn hip flexor. (USA Today Sports)Lee, 30, is a popular and well-respected player within the Golden State franchise but his contract is considerable, and moving him for a star – or a player on a shorter deal – makes financial sense.

    Golden State offered Lee in a package for Toronto's Andrea Bargnani, sources said, but the Raptors made a deal with the New York Knicks to shed the final two years, $22.5 million on Bargnani's contract.

    The Warriors tried to pry Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge as part of an offer that included Brandon Rush, league sources said. Portland has been engaging trade talks for Aldridge, but has pursued more robust offers than Golden State's proposal, sources said.

    Lee had one of his best NBA seasons, averaging 18.5 points and 11.2 rebounds and making the Western Conference All-Star team. He suffered a torn hip flexor on

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  • Pistons meeting with Josh Smith, planning to make lucrative offer

    Detroit Pistons general manager Joe Dumars met with Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith at 12:01 a.m. ET with a plan to make the free agent forward a substantial four-year offer, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Josh Smith is one of the top NBA free agents this summer. (AP)Atlanta has shown far more interest in working sign-and-trade arrangements for Smith than re-signing him to a long-term deal, league sources said.

    Along with re-signing point guard Jose Calderon, Smith is the Pistons' top priority on the market, league sources told Y! Sports.

    The Pistons planned to make a preemptive strike on Smith, understanding that he's a secondary priority for several teams awaiting the resolution of the Dwight Howard derby, sources said.

    Smith, 27, is one of the free-agent stars on the market, a versatile 6-foot-9 forward that Dumars would add to a front line that includes Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. Smith averaged 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists for the Hawks last season.

    Dumars also will meet with forward Andre Iguodala on Monday in Los

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  • Rockets trade Thomas Robinson to Blazers, clearing room for Dwight Howard

    Hours before meeting with Dwight Howard, the Houston Rockets reached an agreement to trade Thomas Robinson to the Portland Trail Blazers and clear the necessary space to offer the star free-agent center a max contract, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Traded to the Rockets midway through last season, Thomas Robinson is headed to Portland. (USA Today Sports)The Rockets can now present Howard with a four-year, $88 million contract in a late-night Sunday meeting in Los Angeles.

    The Rockets are the frontrunners to sign Howard, and unloading Robinson's contract is the final hurdle to create the space necessary to make the move.

    Portland will send the Rockets the draft rights to Kostas Papanikolau and Marko Todorovic and two future second-round picks, league sources said.

    The deal can't become official until the NBA's moratorium on free-agency signings ends on July 10.

    The trade sheds nearly $7 million off the Rockets' payroll over the next two seasons. Houston also waived two veteran players – Carlos Delfino and Aaron Brooks – earlier on Sunday to clear cap space.

    Robinson, the fifth overall pick

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  • Sources: Knicks dealing for Andrea Bargnani; Raptors get Steve Novak, Marcus Camby and picks

    The Toronto Raptors are finalizing an agreement on a trade to send former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani to the New York Knicks, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.Andrea Bargnani is headed to New York. (Getty Images)

    The Knicks will send their 2016 first-round pick to the Raptors, and a package that includes Marcus Camby and Steve Novak, league sources said.

    [Related: Full 2013 NBA free-agent list]

    The Knicks will also send two future second-round picks to Toronto, sources said.

    The Knicks and Raptors were unable to finalize the deal on Sunday night with the league office because of salary components that need to be tweaked, a league source said. The teams believe they'll make the necessary adjustment for approval on Monday.

    For new Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri, the deal will unload the two years, $22 million left on the contract of the underachieving 7-foot forward.

    Barganani was the first pick in the 2006 NBA draft, and has averaged 15 points and nearly five rebounds a game for his career.

    The New York Times first reported the

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  • Kobe Bryant to meet with Dwight Howard

    Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant plans to be part of the presentation on Tuesday to convince free-agent center Dwight Howard to re-sign with the franchise, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

    Kobe Bryant and the Lakers will meet with Dwight Howard on Tuesday. (USA Today Sports)The Lakers are expected to make the final case to Howard in Los Angeles, letting Houston, Dallas, Golden State and Atlanta go before them. Bryant has offered to be a part of the contingent that will include the Buss family, general manager Mitch Kupchak and possibly coach Mike D'Antoni.

    Howard and Bryant have had a tepid relationship, but have stayed in touch in the offseason.

    Howard, 27, can sign a five-year, $117 million-plus contract extension to stay with the Lakers. He has been leaning toward the Houston Rockets, league sources told Yahoo! Sports, but no one engaged in the discussions dares ruling out his staying with the Lakers.

    Houston can sign Howard to a four-year, $88 million contract.

    Among Howard's comfort living in Los Angeles, his outside and marketing interests beyond basketball

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  • Dwight Howard spends eve of free agency at gaming championships; Rockets GM can't attend

    Dwight Howard played "Call of Duty" at the Major League Gaming world championships. (Special to Y! Sports)Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey belongs to the board of directors of Major League Gaming, and under most circumstances would've stopped over to the Anaheim Convention Center on Saturday night for the MLG's world championships.

    Only, NBA tampering rules wouldn't have allowed it on the eve of the free-agency period starting Sunday at midnight ET, because the target of Morey's California trip – star center Dwight Howard – happened to be playing "Call of Duty" against kids at the event.

    Morey had flown into Southern California on Saturday with the Rockets' traveling party to prepare to make their free-agent pitch to Howard late Sunday. Houston is competing with the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks to sign the All-Star center.

    Related coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
    Rockets loom as frontrunners for Dwight Howard
    Complete list of NBA free agents
    Chandler Parsons courting Dwight Howard

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  • Dwight Howard's free-agent courtship to begin with Rockets as frontrunners

    After two years of careful planning and preparation to make themselves irresistible to Dwight Howard, the Houston Rockets have emerged as the frontrunners to sign the free agent center and will make a formal presentation to him on Sunday night in Los Angeles, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    The Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and Lakers will make presentations between Sunday's midnight ET start of free agency and Tuesday evening, sources told Y! Sports.

    Howard doesn't want this process to extend long beyond his final meetings on Tuesday and could have a decision before the end of the week, sources said.

    Dwight Howard might need less than a week to decide where he wants to sign. (Getty Images)"He wants to make a decision based on basketball more than anything else," one source with knowledge of Howard's thinking told Y! Sports.

    For this reason, Howard has been leaning toward the Rockets in recent weeks and considers them the only team that would instantly allow him to play for a championship contender, sources said. The Lakers aren't out of

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  • Brian Scalabrine in talks with Warriors for assistant coaching job

    The Golden State Warriors are discussing an assistant coaching job with popular ex-player Brian Scalabrine, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Scalabrine met with Warriors coach Mark Jackson and team management last week, and conversations have continued in recent days, league sources said. Brian Scalabrine

    Golden State has lost two assistant coaches this offseason – Mike Malone to the Sacramento Kings as head coach, and Bob Beyer to the Charlotte Bobcats as an assistant.

    Scalabrine turned down a chance to join coach Tom Thibodeau's staff with the Chicago Bulls after playing his final NBA season in 2011-'12. After growing in television roles locally on Boston Celtics telecasts and nationally elsewhere, Scalabrine had begun to entertain the possibility of starting a coaching career.

    He has spent several weeks this spring working out draft prospects in Los Angeles for agent Arn Tellem.

    Scalabrine played 11 NBA seasons, including stops with the Nets, Celtics and Bulls.

    More NBA content from Yahoo! Sports

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  • Nets interested in signing free-agent center Jason Collins

    The Brooklyn Nets have been considering free-agent center Jason Collins, the first openly gay player in NBA history, for a return to the franchise, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    As the Nets bring Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to the franchise via trade, the Nets need proven, dependable role players available at the veteran's minimum price.

    Jason Collins played 32 games with the Celtics last season. (Getty Images)

    Nevertheless, the tweaking of the Celtics-Nets trade package Friday to now include Brooklyn guard MarShon Brooks instead of forward Reggie Evans does lessen the need for another physical, frontcourt player on the Nets' roster. Nets coach Jason Kidd has been an advocate of the possibility of acquiring Collins, but how aggressively the Nets pursue Collins, if ultimately at all, will hinge on how the roster continues to take shape, sources said.

    Collins, 34, has close relationships with Kidd and top assistant Lawrence Frank. They were together for seven successful seasons with the Nets when Frank was a coach, Kidd was the point guard

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