According to NBC Sports' Dan Feldman, Houston general manager Daryl Morey hasn't waived enough of his players to clear up space for the league's premier big man—one who's spending this summer blowing up Twitter while functioning as the most glamorous and indecisive free agent.
Based on the collective bargaining agreement's provision that max contracts can rise up to 105 percent of the previous year's numerical value, Howard is set to make $20,513,178. Not even the Los Angeles Lakers could give him more money for the 2013-14 season, as their financial advantage stems from the ability to give him a fifth year on the max deal.
Houston could take a number of routes if Howard chooses to become a Rocket, but none of them are particularly pleasant.
However, this is problematic because Smith and Beverley both have value to the team, which they proved throughout the 2012-13 season and the ensuing playoff series with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Here's another option, courtesy of Feldman:
Houston could trade any two-man combination of Smith, Beverley, White, Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas except Beverly-Smith and Beverly-Motiejunas for future draft picks or unsigned second rounders, and that would clear enough room to give Howard a max contract.
Will Dwight Howard play for the Houston Rockets?
Regardless, the pursuit of Howard isn't simple for Houston.
Even if the big man decides to join the Rockets, Morey still has to get creative with the roster to make it work. Of course, the star-chasing general manager has surely considered all of these options already, so it's not exactly groundbreaking for this "breaking news" to come out on the supposed day of Howard's decision.