It's been clear for awhile that Dwight Howard will not return to play for the Houston Rockets next season, but the question of where he'll end up is yet to be answered. There were rumors about him making a return to the Orlando Magic, but it's a different pair of Eastern Conference organizations who have taken the lead in the D-12 sweepstakes.

According to Chris Broussard and Marc Stein of ESPN, the first franchises to land face-to-face meetings with Dwight Howard in free agency are the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks.

Their sources added that Howard is expected to meet with up to five teams before ultimately deciding where he'll play this coming fall.

Dwight Howard
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The Miami Heat were also mentioned as a contender for Howard, but they're yet to secure a meeting.

Reports linking Dwight to his hometown Hawks came out yesterday, as the franchise deals with the real possibility of losing All-Star big man Al Horford in free agency. If possible, they'd like to pair both Howard and Horford given Al's ability to stretch the floor.

The Celtics, conversely, have been rumored in trade talks involving Howard going back to the trade deadline with their various valuable draft picks on the table. Obviously, a deal was never reached.

Howard declined a player option worth $23.2 million before hitting the market, so in his opinion he's at least worth that figure, if not more, after averaging 13.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game in 2015-16.

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