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Dwight free agency: Howard, Mitch Kupchak met before Houston Rockets meeting

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Mitch Kupchak slipped in to meet with Dwight Howard before he set off to his first free agency meeting.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Dwight Howard was set to meet with his first suitor -- the Houston Rockets -- when he officially became a free agent at the stroke of midnight on July 1. Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak met with Howard in person moments prior to his meeting with the Rockets, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

Now, the Lakers will not only get the "final" word with Howard during his free agency period, but Kupchak went out of his way to ensure they were first to make contact.

The legend of Mitch Kupchak the ninja lives on.

Howard will meet with the Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks on Monday, and will finish off his free agency period with meetings with the Dallas Mavericks and Lakers on Tuesday.

The Rockets did get to their meeting with Howard after his brief discussion with Kupchak, and they brought along Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon, James Harden and Chandler Parsons for their presentation to Howard, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

- Drew

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