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Report: Dwight Howard will consider multiple teams in free agency, is said to be most intrigued by the Rockets

May 19, 2013, 8:34 PM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

We already know what we’re in for in terms of the steady stream of reports and rumors that will flood us leading up to the free agent decision of Dwight Howard this summer. It even has a nickname,  and although he’s technically not a free agent for another six weeks or so, the Dwightmare has already begun.

It was reported earlier that Howard would indeed be speaking to other teams besides the Lakers during free agency, and that he would take his time in exploring all options.

That has been confirmed in the most recent report surrounding Howard, but there are now some additional details to pass along in the form of teams Howard might be interested in joining once the process formally gets underway.

From Ken Berger of

With the Lakers hoping for a swift decision from Dwight Howard on his free agency this summer, the All-Star center has given no indication he will rush the process and has privately indicated that he plans to give strong consideration to multiple teams, league sources told

Though Howard is adamant that his free agency not be marred by the circus-like environment that surrounded his departure from Orlando last summer, word already has spread to multiple levels of his support staff that Howard re-signing with the Lakers is far from a done deal.

With six weeks to go before Howard becomes an unrestricted free agent, the team that is said to intrigue him the most is the Houston Rockets, according to multiple people briefed on internal conversations surrounding Howard’s free-agent decision.

Why Houston? Well, James Harden is one place to start.

Howard wants to play for a winner, and one that has All-Star talent already in place in addition to what he’ll bring to a franchise. The Rockets also have other solid pieces in Chandler Parsons and Omer Asik, but it’s unclear whether or not some of those would eventually need to go in order for the team to afford Howard’s services.

The Mavericks are also mentioned in this latest report, and they’re already very close to having the cap space to sign Howard now. With Dirk Nowitzki promising a pay cut beginning the following season, the team will have the flexibility to surround Howard with even more pieces that could potentially complete a championship puzzle.

It’s extremely early in this process, and there will be a ton of reports and rumors that will be circulated before Howard makes his final decision. The advice to Lakers fans who are holding out hope Howard will return to Los Angeles is to remain calm and patient throughout it all, and to take everything you hear with a grain of salt until Howard’s choice has been made official.

126 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. sportsnut101 - May 20, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Dude just go to houston perfect fit for u Parsons will be open for the three all day if he goes there U tried lakers already. It didn’t work n they don’t have cap room n the roster will be the same Kobe will shoot 40 times when he gets back. Just to make up for lost shots

    Kobe is a headache why deal with him Don’t u wanna be happy where u work

    Mchale could teach him low post moves

    • polonelmeagrejr - May 20, 2013 at 7:28 AM

      Is it possible that Dwight Howard just isn’t near as good as he’s cracked up to be? I’ve only seeen him play the last couple years so I really can’t say.

      • topdawg4ever - May 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        You are right. He isn’t as good as HE thinks he is. He has shown he has no intensity in his lackluster play in LA. Not a team player nor a leader. Let the Mavs have him.

    • applejuice45 - May 20, 2013 at 9:32 AM

      Funny how you houstonians naively think you’ll get to keep the same nice youthful pieces along with Dwight and harden. You do know there are two teams where luxury tax do not matter or affect their organization and that’s not the rockets. Look what happened to the lakers this previous season, a Kobe and Dwight combo with old washed up players and young below average players. It will be the same thing but probably worse with Dwight and harden. Oh yeah by the way Dwight Howard will never be as talented in the post as Marc gasol who y’all could’ve pursued two years ago when he was a free agent.

    • 4thquartermagic - May 20, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      You make some great logical reasons why it makes sense for Dwight.

      However Dwight has proven to be anything but great or logical.

      Did will go where the $$$ is. You can take that to the bank.

  2. sensaybooo - May 20, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    I don’t know why Dwight Howard is playing these games… Everybody knows he want’s to be Shaq. Dwight Howard is gonna sign with the Lakers and it will be the worse signing the Lakers ever make.

    • topdawg4ever - May 20, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      The Lakers would be stupid to sign him. All that money they can’t afford and they won’t get the help they need. Plus we saw how he didn’t play Kobe’s brand of basketball. He wants to be THE MAN but does nothing to show it.

  3. ddaughtry81 - May 20, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    He isn’t leaving $30 million on the table. Even when factor in the state tax compared to Texas, he is not leaving that money on the table. Not to play with Harden, Asik, and Lin in Houston instead of Bryant, Gasol, and Nash in Los Angeles. Period.

    • 88heatnation - May 20, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      Lakers would need an athletic small forward who slashes and nash will need to take the back seat reserved role he’s just not the same impact player due to age and piss poor defense which was one of the lakers major problems this past season. In a point guard league, you will need that because they can single handily take you out the ball game, (parker, westbrook, irving). I say maybe trade pau for complimentary young pieces to round out the roster with effort hustle players and gunners.

    • aredyl - May 20, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      Harden (23) and Lin (24) versus Kobe (34) and Nash (39).

      If D12 does sign with the Lakers, he could easily be looking at him with a bunch of role players in a couple of years. Nash is closing in on 40 and is injury prone now. Kobe has spent half of his life playing in the league. I suspect both Nash and Kobe are gone before D12 gets to the halfway point of that contract.

      With Harden and Lin, he could have a very good back court without another big in the low post with him. (Yes, I think Asik is out if Houston signs D12. Not as likely in LA.)

    • anhdazman - May 20, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      So how just ask Howard how fun was it for him to play in LA last season? Lets see…
      Nash missed most of the season with various injuries and he’s going to be a year older closer to 40 in 2013.
      Kobe broke down at the end extending himself and there’s a good chance he won’t even be able to contribute in 2013 let alone the rest of his career. Add another year and we haven’t even began to talk about DH12 and Kobe differences.
      Pau Gasol or MWP might get traded or let loose, which ever might help the Lakers get out of Salary Cap Hell.
      Forget about signing any FAs because you have no cap space.
      Which players could the Lakers possibly trade for younger talent?
      Well at least the Lakers have draft picks, wait, scratch that too.
      Oh yeah, he’s good as gone.

  4. jah1z - May 20, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    Howard coming to the Rockets makes perfect sense. Laker fans don’t seem to understand, dangling 118 millions for 5 years is an illusion when a state like Texas with no state taxes can offer him a 4 year deal at 80(+) millions and would be making more than 118 millions under L.A.’s ridiculous state taxes.

    Plus, with a young core led by J.Harden and a reliable back-up center in Asik, Howard can play pressure-free basketball and bring out the beast of himself. He can’t do that with Kobe hogging the ball and using Howard in a way he can’t be the force he need ti be. The Man need freedom. That means, the game have to go through him when he’s on the court and Harden can defer to Howard better than Kobe ever will.

    Get used to it, Lakers fans, Howard will be a Rockets July 1st. You never should have dump Bynum. Thats what you get for being greedy. Karma!

    • Kurt Helin - May 20, 2013 at 2:14 AM

      Actually, no he wouldn’t. The most generous estimates say the tax savings would be $10 million total over 4 years, which is less than the extra year of guaranteed money the Lakers would offer. Also, increased endorsement opportunities in a larger media market make up for the difference.

      Honestly, taxes come behind other issues when players make a decision.

      • jah1z - May 20, 2013 at 2:53 AM

        Kurt, you forget that at the end of Howard’s 4 year, he can sign a 1 year contract in the neighborhodd of 18 to 20 millions. At the end, Texas wins out over L.A. Why you think he’s considering TWO Texas teams???

        As far as endorsement, be real. Howard is an established player, Addidas will follow him regardless where he goes. You also forget, Houston has the China market on their side too….thanks to Yao Ming. And with Lin on the squad, it’s as if the China market never left Houston, which is a huge compared to the L.A. market. By comparison, L.A. market look like chump change.

        Howard, of course, have business personnel looking at this very thing and knows Houston makes perfect sense. A natural fit with the Rockets, and with Dream Olajuwon being his mentor, the decision can’t be easier. Dream would probably stay a season to work with Howard if Rocket’ Owner ask Dream. They are close (Les Alexander and Dream). Howard was out here training with Dream last summer and he plans to do so this summer.

        It’s a no-brainer to join the Rockets and the Rockets will finally get their Big Mam this time. The Lakers need to stop going after our targets. Nobody want to play Kobe. And as old as that team is, Howard will never be happy starting over again. Thats not why he left. He want to win, now! Not later.

        Again, Howard will be a Rockets by July 1st.

      • Kurt Helin - May 20, 2013 at 3:23 AM

        I question how natural the on the court fit is next to Asik, but certainly there is a fit.

        Howard is likely going to get one more max deal after this one regardless of where he signs. But if you bothered to read what I said it is that the Lakers can offer more GUARANTEED money — and that matters. For a guy coming off back surgery don’t think it doesn’t.

        As for why two Texas teams, it’s not the taxes it’s the cap space. Both can make a few moves and have max room, which they would need. I think people in Texas and Florida tend to vastly overestimate the tax thing to players — they have to file local taxes in each jurisdiction where they play. Every road game is a tax, so the players basically only save on home games. The savings isn’t as great as people think it is. I can tell you first hand that players say size of the contract matters far more than taxes do. Far more.

        I’m not going to get into a stupid debate about this now in the comments because we are going to have this stupid debate for two months in multiple posts on this site. Howard has earned the right to be a free agent, he has taken the slings and arrows to do so, he has the right to explore his options. I know how pumped up Houston fans are about the idea. But even in this article saying how he has some interest in Houston the same sources say he likely stays in LA. My sources say there is little chance he leaves when it comes time to sign. He’s going to flirt with other teams because he can, then re-sign with the Lakers. That’s my bet.

      • ddarqwon - May 20, 2013 at 4:45 AM

        You are terribly misinformed if you think taxes aren’t factored majorly when players (and their agents) are considering contracts.

      • Kurt Helin - May 20, 2013 at 10:41 PM

        I talk to players and agents. What matters is size of the overall contract — that is first, second and third. Then team, endorsement opportunities, weather and taxes. They care, but not as much as fans seem to think.

      • jah1z - May 20, 2013 at 8:50 AM

        Kurt, the guaranteed money on the last year of a 5 year contract will be subjected to the same high taxes playing in L.A. Just the first 4 years, Howard comes out better, and saving more, playing in Texas.

        As far as home games vs. away games, all teams comes out half and half between away and home games. So, Howard’s contract, playing for L.A., will still gets eaten up by massive taxee. Couple that with the high cost of living to Texas’ low cost on a home, Texas win on all factors. All of it.

        The only incentives to play for L.A. is their storied franchise, big market and a media darling. However, as been proven, Howard excels in the smaller market…..the Rockets a perfect fix in that regard with a higher chance of going further in the Playoffs for the next 3 years than L.A.

        Howard want to win now, not rebuild with the Lakers. If he was a rookie or a 2nd year player, L.A. makes alot of sense but Howard is 27, coming off an injury. He’s not trying to start over. Done that in Orlando.

        Houston is the right place and EVERY delusional Lakers fan knows it! So do you.

        Howard will be a Rockets July 1st. Morey will not let this golden opportunity pass. Just watch, once Morey talk to Howard, he will be sold. Morey will add another star talent besides Howard….possibly Josh Smith and L.A. simply can’t beat that. They’re BROKE!

      • Kurt Helin - May 20, 2013 at 10:37 PM

        Again, you overestimate the importance of the taxes to players seeking max deals. It’s way down the list, after state of the team and weather.

      • rohlo - May 20, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        asik might be traded if howard signs..i heard houston is interested in josh smith too..they will be moving some players young talent around..i like lin,but i am not sold on him as a starter.

      • aredyl - May 20, 2013 at 2:37 PM

        Well, if they do sign D12, they’ll probably try and move Asik and his contract to another team. I don’t see them paying that kind of money for a backup center. Also, Asik does have enough talent for teams to bite on a trade.

        If they do move Lin, is it likely that they make a play for both CP3 and D12 this year? My gut tells me no, but it is a possibility to try and build another “Big 3” between Harden, CP3, and D12.

      • Kurt Helin - May 20, 2013 at 8:37 PM

        No, that does not work financially.

      • jimeejohnson - May 20, 2013 at 8:46 PM

        J.R. never let that stop him. This is Texas we’re talkin’ about, not New Yawk. Everything’s bigger in Texas, especially the money.

      • danfrommv - May 24, 2013 at 12:27 PM

        Hey Kurt,

        I’ll have to take your word that taxes don’t matter, since you do in fact speak to agents and players. I would *think* the agents would at least understand that the after-tax compensation is what really matters, even if the tax difference *only* applies to 1/2 of the games. I guess it shows how under-informed the players are.

      • Kurt Helin - May 24, 2013 at 2:17 PM

        It’s not that it doesn’t matter at all, but it’s not as big a deal as people in Houston seem to think. Howard’s getting big bank regardless, his agent gets his cut of the pie no matter what.

    • topdawg4ever - May 20, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      Not a Laker fan at all but the Lakers were right to get rid of headcase Bynum. Now they need to get rid of headcase Duhwhight.

  5. getthat18now - May 20, 2013 at 3:28 AM

    Wow, I can’t believe people are still spending so much time and bandwidth on this DH12. Didn’t we have enough of this whining spoiled kid after his “circus-like environment that surrounded his departure from Orlando”. He has never shown any ability to be a leader on and off the court. Why do people still think so highly of him?

    • topdawg4ever - May 21, 2013 at 10:53 AM

      I’m thinking that after his terrible showing in LA his stock has taken a big hit. If he was as good as he thought he was leaving Orlando he’d be worth it. But he carries the baggage of being a prima donna and being lazy. Not a good combo for any team.

  6. loungefly74 - May 20, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    He is resigning with LA. end of story.

    • massivedick - May 20, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      he may be a idiot … but he is not a moron … he is finished in LA

    • bigrele - May 22, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      Ha! You wish it was end of story lol! Even if he does, ur pathetic Lakers are toast; matter of fact botton line the Lakers are hot garbage whether he signs or not, it’d be nice to see him with Houston with Harden but it’d be even more hilarious to lmao at another season seeing pitiful crybaby lakerlosers whining about how bad D12 is playing hahahahahahaha! Either way who effing cares, the Lakers will suck either way lol!

      • loungefly74 - May 28, 2013 at 11:29 PM

        yeah…we suck. more titles than whoever your team is. quit your yapping. fool.

  7. soopreme - May 20, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    Houston would be a perfect fit for Howard.
    We keep talking about how Hakeem would be a great mentor for Howard and help him with his game, but lets not forget the his coach would be Kevin Mchale who had at least, if not more low post moves than Hakeem.
    Howard would be mentored by two of the best low post offensive players that ever played the game.
    Its a no brainer really.

    • jah1z - May 20, 2013 at 8:28 AM

      McHale’s post game was NOT better Dreams.’ Nor did McHale have more post moves than Dreams. No big man in the NBA with a “superstar” title to his name is seeking McHale for a post game. They all going to Dream:


      ….just to name a few. Dwight will do well to stick with Dream and learn as much as he can. It would be a benefit to the entire Rockets’ Big Man if Dream is hired as a special Coach for the Rockets’ bigs than anything McHale could teach them. Even Asik would be much improved if he goes to Dream’ Big Man camp this summer.

      • soopreme - May 20, 2013 at 10:39 AM

        Jah1z, its all good.
        Dreams spin move fade away was unstoppable and I would definately take Dream over Mchale forhis overall game, but Mchale had more offensive moves in his trunk than Dream.
        Mchale had a jump hook with both hands, he had an up and under move that all you can do is foul him. Mchale was something else and I think he didn’t get the credit that he deserved.
        Barkley said that Mchale is the best power forward that he has ever played against.
        The main point though is that Howard would have access to both.

  8. iowahbr - May 20, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    So many posts for a player who has had trouble fitting his game into a good team strategy. Silly money for a player with a very limited game on offense and trouble doing what Noah does for the Bulls when he doesn’t have the ball on offense..

    • progress2011 - May 20, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      Which team had a “good team strategy” !!!

      The Magic didn’t and the lakers strategy was WORSE than the Magic !

      So many posts are made for this guy:

      1. Because we are basketball fans and this is a basketball site

      2. There are very few SKILLED big men ! Duncan is one of the few that can walk and chew gum at the same time.

      3. So, basketball fans are interested in the return of a dominant big man and D12 is arguably our best chance.

      If you didn’t post, there would have been one less post, since you’re concerned about the number of posts.

      • jimeejohnson - May 20, 2013 at 8:50 PM

        Bravo, Progress!

  9. ryanrockzzz - May 20, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    To me this whole thing is simple. Whoever signs Howard to a big contract loses. How many times can teams overlook the obvious? It seems in the case of Howard, teams are willing to overlook the last two years, which included the Orlando meltodwn, and and injury riddled, soft campaign this year in L.A.

    Any team that pays a max deal for Howard is hoping they get the Howard from two years ago. Which would have been fine before he seriously injured himself, and got exposed as a mentally weak player who can’t carry a franchise.

    For Howard and his agents, I also find it comical that they routinely leak the whole “he wants to play for a winner” quote. He wants to play for anyone willing to pay him what he wants. It’s always been about money with Howard. He thought by going to L.A or Brooklyn, he’d get more of that via endorsements, exposure, and a large contract. The problem with him is that his camp is full of dumbasses. Instead of shutting his mouth and just saying the right things, he’s always saying the DUMB things, and that in turn hurts some of the public appeal he has. You would think that would stop NBA teams from wanting to give this guy a ton of money, for a ton of years, but that’s the NBA. Teams know they have to have “superstar” playes to win, and General Managers tend to lie slightly above the educated basketball fan in figuring out how to obtain these players. (I.e. Billy King giving Joe Johnson the worst contract in the NBA because he was avaialble in a trade and was a “name.”)

  10. justprofit84 - May 20, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Dwight was wack last season compared to other seasons but Pao was the biggest disappointment over all. I would find a way to trade Pao and keep Dwight also bring in a solid point who back and start if need. For all you Lakers fans tough loss….. Dwight hates ya’ll, Pao is burnt out, Kobe won’t be the same, MWP is no Artest and Nash its hard to say anything bad about him but ya’ll know…

    • topdawg4ever - May 20, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      The Lakers should get rid of both Pau and Dwight. Pau is too old and Dwight showed he isn’t a good fit.

    • aredyl - May 20, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      Nash is almost 40? Its just a fact – I have the highest respect for Nash.

      I see them moving Pao, but only if they can sign D12. Going without Pao and D12 is a whole lot worse than having D12 sign somewhere else.

  11. justprofit84 - May 20, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Good Point….how much happiness can an extra 30million dollars buy? for you? for an NBA player? Only thing I know if he leaves it will be a huge reality check for Lakers fans who are used to putting up banner every 3-5 years. This may be the beginning Dark Ages for the purple and gold.

  12. rohlo - May 20, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    actually word is howard doesnt mind taking a 4 year deal where he can opt out after year 3..he would then be lined up to get one more max contract before his career is over.reports are the tax difference in texas versus cali would be worth 30 million in cali.even if dwight were to resign in LA the lakers arent going anywhere next season.. it makes sense for him in houston.. it would the same type of thing lebron did in going to miami..he took less money and years thus he gets another max contract coming up and he has a ring maybe 2 by that time!(lebron)..

    i dont like josh smith,but if dwight goes there i predict josh smith his buddy will follow.i know the rockets like him too! so then the rockets would be wheeling and dealing like htye always getting rid of some pieces that dont fit,they have assets in young players as well.all a product of what they last off-season trading vets for picks and young players.

  13. 88heatnation - May 20, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    If the Lakers loose out on Dwight they will be out of contention for at-least the next 5 yrs, Kobe will then be older and not extend his career due to lack of talent, not a feasible destination for free agents either not with Kobe’s “I shoot first shoot second, this my team” arrogant mindset.. but hey he wrote that for himself, what a way to end your career.

    • topdawg4ever - May 21, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      The Lakers painted themselves into a corner with the trades and acquisitions this year. Nash is pretty much done, Pau is tired and mentally not there, Kobe may or may not come back to form, and Dwight is a non-factor that costs way too much money. Get rid of Pau, D12, and amnesty Kobe. Then start over. Not what Laker faithful want to hear but it’s the only way the team can re-build.

  14. dylude - May 20, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    My only point was that the $30 million number is WRONG when applied to Houston.

    And 4 years / $75 mil proves it because if you project it out over 5 years it is $93 mil which is $25 mil less BEFORE any tax debate.

    Now lets have the tax debate: most players would like to live in the city they play in, especially those who want to maximize their local marketability and be a franchise player. As such, there aren’t enough loopholes in the world to make California taxes less than Texas taxes unless Dwight is a human wind turbine. So now the $25 mil can easily be reduced 20% due to taxes and cost of living. I’m saying LA can give him $20 million of security over 5 years.

    In the end, Dwight’s Adidas contract dwarfs EVERYTHING. Stop being an LA homer trying to win an argument, I’m speaking truth. Adidas could be the biggest reason he stays in LA. It’s why he never considered Chicago with D Rose when they were fed up with Noah.

    • jimeejohnson - May 20, 2013 at 8:56 PM

      It’s like this: multiple perspectives, whose order of significance is pure opinion. Still, I don’t think either side is lying.

  15. dylude - May 21, 2013 at 11:24 AM


    Facts tell me Adidas matters. Chicago could have punter Noah to Orlando and made room for Dwight. Was there another reason that was never an option?

    I still predict LA because that maximizes Adidas’ market and they can give him a $200 million contract and send the paychecks to whatever state his house is in.

    I think it’s under-reported but if Adidas wants Dwight in LA, that’s likely where he will be. I’d love him in Houston, but Adidas wants that LA market and an aging Kobe helps Adidas push product so the argument about Houston’s youth doesn’t help like we’d think it would.

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