Posted June 27, 2013

Dwight Howard reportedly unlikely to re-sign with Lakers; plans to meet with Mavericks, Rockets and Hawks

NBA
Dwight Howard is reportedly unlikely to re-sign with the Lakers. (Noah Graham/Getty Images)

Dwight Howard is reportedly unlikely to re-sign with the Lakers. (Noah Graham/Getty Images)

The Dwight Howard free agency circus is officially underway again.

The Los Angeles Lakers center is unlikely to re-sign with the team when he becomes a free agent July 1, according to a report Thursday morning from ESPN’s Chris Broussard. The seven-time All-Star plans to host meetings in Los Angeles with officials from the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks this summer to see if one of them is a better fit.

The news comes nearly a year after Howard left the Orlando Magic following a very public riff with former head coach Stan Van Gundy and disputes with management. Howard had asked for the team to trade him before the 2011-12 season, and then ended up opting in to the final year of his contract.

If he doesn’t re-sign with the Lakers this summer, he will leave $30 million on the table; the Lakers can offer Howard a five-year $118 million contract, while the Mavs, Hawks, Rockets or another team can sign him for four years and approximately $88 million. According to Broussard, Howard, 27, is willing to forgo that extra money in order to be with a coach and a system that will “better utilize his skill set.”

Howard reportedly doesn’t like playing for Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni and doesn’t want to be in the shadows of Kobe Bryant anymore.  Bryant has said the Lakers need to “lock him up” and wants the final word with Howard before he makes a decision.

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But as Howard looks toward other teams, Broussard said that sources close to Howard believe that Dallas could be the best fit because he likes the idea of taking the reins from Dirk Nowitzki as the franchise player and sees the Mavs as the team that’s best positioned for a championship over the next few years. Dallas is reportedly shopping the $9 million left on forward Shawn Marion’s contract to create more space for signing Howard this summer.

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Howard is also being heavily recruited by James Harden and Chandler Parsons of the Rockets. But even though he likes the idea of playing for Hall of Famer Kevin McHale, he sees Houston’s up-tempo offense, a style often employed by D’Antoni, as not an optimal fit for his play in the post.

The Hawks, as Broussard reports, are “a long shot.” Howard is from the Atlanta area and had been interested in possibly signing with the team if Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul decides to go as well, but the Clippers’ recent signing of head coach Doc Rivers makes it all the more unlikely that Paul leaves Los Angeles, especially for the Hawks.

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17 comments
MarieWhitley
MarieWhitley

As a Laker fan, I actually wouldn't be all that upset if he didn't stay.  I think he's a great player, but I don't think he can handle the pressure of a market like LA.  Dallas is probably a better fit because there isn't as much pressure to win titles.  Dwight is obviously an incredible player, but I'm not sure he has what it takes to win championships.  He SHOULD stay to learn from Kobe, something about intensity.  He wants to be THE guy on the team, but doesn't want the pressure that comes with it.  I SHOULD be upset that he might leave, because who would replace him?  He is one of the best centers in the league.  But my initial reaction at the news was kind of neutral.  Fine if he stays, fine if he goes.  

LanaSoprano
LanaSoprano

Dwight do whats White

and call Dan Gilbert tonight!

PanzerDSS
PanzerDSS

"But as Howard looks toward other teams, Broussard said that sources close to Howard believe that Dallas could be the best fit because he likes the idea of taking the reins from Dirk Nowitzki as the franchise player and sees the Mavs as the team that’s best positioned for a championship over the next few years." 

The Rockets obviously have more talent. And young talent at that.  WTF?

ColeDelavergne
ColeDelavergne

The Rockets would change their style for him.  They would slow it down a bit, of course they will still run a fast offense on breaks but they would ultimately feed him in the paint.  I am sure they will tell him this when they meet in a few weeks. The Rockets have the most talent of all the teams. Harden and Parson are deadly and Lynn is a decent PG and more importantly his back up could end up being a star one day (look at how well he played against OKC for 4 games even before he took westbrook out of the game). 

KevinTravers
KevinTravers

Interesting. I would have thought Houston was option #1. Not sure how he figures Dallas is most likely to win a title in the next few years, but, kay

salvaje50
salvaje50

Lakers fans will spin this as they don't want him anyway and they they will take the cap space but we all know they are freaking out right now.

M20
M20

Howard is a crybaby. He's a cancer. But he's still one of the most valuable players in the NBA. Even in a massively disappointing down season from him last year, he was still pretty damn good. Contrary to what he seems to think, he doesn't need a "system" built around him to succeed. He's going to score, rebound, and defend regardless.

He should go to the Rockets if he wants to win. Howard, Asik, Parsons, Harden, Lin. That starting lineup instantly becomes one of the top 5 in the NBA.

FrankRoman
FrankRoman

The man does not deserve to wear a laker uniform, he's a big crybaby and good luck to whoever gets him. LA will be better off without him. He doesn't have the character of the laker greats, Wilt, West, Kareem, Magic, Worthy, Shaq and Kobe.

FCC
FCC

Spoiled baby because of the genetic lottery.

jcs
jcs

as a Laker fan, I'm a bit torn here, but in the end Howard is a diva and I think the Lakers might end up being better off without him. He could be the face of the biggest club in basketball in a couple years, but he's going to choose to be a big fish in a smaller pond somewhere else.


Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Isn't this like the BEST POSSIBLE news the Lakers could get? This is a great player that has no idea of how to be a team player. He needs to go to a team with no stars so he will get all the attention. That, I think, is the only way he will be happy.  And when he's not happy he doesn't produce.

muser
muser

When you factor in the taxes, Howard will make more in Texas.

He'll still be a giant cancer. Great news for the Lakers. 

pcwhite2
pcwhite2

@salvaje50 

I am Spurs guy, but follow the Lakers closely (they have had my favorite players over the years).  Trust me, Laker fans are tired of his childishness.

pcwhite2
pcwhite2

@FCC 

He is immature, but he works very hard with his genetic lottery "winnings."  Don't hate too hard . . . .

TomStrodtbeck
TomStrodtbeck

@muser Not saying he should stay or go, but he would most certainly make more in California. 

In Cali, the most he would pay in income taxes over his five-year deal (assuming he makes 23 million a year) is 2.4 million a year, or 12 million over the course of the five years.

He gives up 30 million to play in Texas (assuming he signs for four years and resigns for a fifth for the same rate. I don't see him making MORE money in 5 years, do you?) 

That's a loss of 17 million bucks.


muser
muser

@TomStrodtbeck Im under the impression that he would more likely sign for a shorter period and then take the higher max $ in a second deal...I'm no cap expert, just a tax hater..