All indications point to Dwight Howard leaving the Houston Rockets in free agency this summer. Even though he was hardly a primary option in Houston's offensive attack the last couple years, his absence will leave a clear void in the paint for the Rockets.

With a limited number of highly talented big men out there, general manager Daryl Morey is swinging for the fences with his preferred choice.

According to Sean Deveney of Sporting News and his sources, Atlanta Hawks All-Star center “Al Horford is the Rockets' top-line goal in free agency.”

Al Horford, Celtics
AP Photo/David Goldman

Horford would allow the Rockets to expand the floor in a way that Howard never allowed them to. In 2015-16, Horford took a little over three three-pointers per game, shooting 34.4 percent from deep for the season.

Deveney also stated that Morey would attempt to get creative and pull off a sign-and-trade deal for a star like Jimmy Butler or Carmelo Anthony. This seems pretty farfetched, but that doesn't mean the Rockets' GM won't try to engage other GMs in those kind of conversations.

Horford is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and reports from a few months back indicated that the Hawks were unsure if they're willing to give him the max. Should Horford hit the open market, he'll surely demand a max contract.

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