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Report: Mavericks told they are out of Dwight Howard running

Jul 5, 2013, 5:38 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

And then there were three…

The Atlanta Hawks really never stood a chance to get Dwight Howard in free agency (he was only going home if Chris Paul went with him, and that chance died).

Now the Dallas Mavericks have been told they are out of the race, something first reported by to Marc Stein of ESPN and now confirmed by other sources.

Dallas’ pitch was to win for a year or two next two Dirk Nowitzki then they had the space to rebuild the team around Howard. Apparently that didn’t fly.

That leaves three teams in the race.

Houston is known to be the frontrunner, pitching that Howard and James Harden from the inside/outside combination of a contender that can be surrounded by quality role players who get the job done. They have good role players around such as Chandler Parsons and cap flexibility to add more parts.

The Lakers, where Howard played last season, can offer the most money with larger raises and an extra guaranteed year. Plus, they offer the winning tradition of the Lakers and their desire to make Howard a centerpiece of that going forward. Finally, they offer the off-the-court endorsement and media opportunities the other cities cannot. The question is if Howard believes he can win there. The Lakers do not seem sold he is staying.

Then there is Golden State, which becomes a more complicated deal after their recent move to offer Andre Iguodala four years, $48 million, and trade out Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins (plus cut loose Jarrett Jack and others). The Warriors may still be able to do a sign-and-trade with the Lakers around Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes and some other pieces. That would be a hard sell to the Lakers. To make that work Howard would have to keep Houston in the mix as leverage (“I’m going to Houston and you get nothing unless you do a sign-and-trade with Golden State”).

  1. htownred34 - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Not sure if the lakers will do a sign and trade unless he threatens to go to the rockets if they don’t do it…

    • oclakerfan - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:09 PM

      Done Deal.. Dwight to Rockets… http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2013/07/05/nba-dwight-howard-makes-his-decision/2492347/

  2. housport22 - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Dude needs to make up his mind.

    • saadasme - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:11 PM

      Why? There is no advantage of signing early….what? There is not training, there is nothing at this moment. Just wait…let them sweat.

  3. biasedhomer - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Out of the 3 remaining, I’d say GS is now the favorites with the addition of Iggy. And the least appealing would be the Lakers.

    • housport22 - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      Lakers have to be willing to deal. Thompson may not be enough. Boguts a DNP waiting to happen.

      • bougin89 - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:28 PM

        You’re absolutely right but if the Warriors include Barnes isn’t that enticing enough rather than to lose him without anything to the Rockets as apparently that is his first/better choice than the Lakers?

      • biasedhomer - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:39 PM

        If Howard says he is not signing with the Lakers, the Lakers would be stupid to let their arrogance and pride get in the way of at least getting something of value in return via sign and trade.

        Lakers need to get off their high horse and realize the league can move forward with or without them.

  4. anhdazman - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Thompson’s outside game would benefit the Lakers more with Nash and Kobe dominating the ball. They’ll have a reliable outside shooter in Thompson.

  5. dondada10 - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Howard is staying in L.A.

    • saadasme - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:13 PM

      Nope..his is gone to Houston. No state tax, and a good young team.

  6. mattryannolan - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    “Houston is known to be the frontrunner, pitching that Howard and James Harden from the inside/outside combination of a contender that can be surrounded by quality role players who get the job done. They have good role players around such as Chandler Parsons and cap flexibility to add more parts.”

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/05/rockets-dont-have-enough-cap-room-to-give-dwight-howard-a-max-contract/

    I don’t really get how this adds up. Cap flexibility but not enough for a max contract? I guess I’m just dumb on this one.

    • bougin89 - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      It’s not a hard cap. They have flexibility to make trades if they are willing to spend money(over the cap). Their are lots of ways to get around the salary cap. Houston is a team that is willing to spend money. They also have young players on cap friendly deals that would be enticing to other teams via trade.

      As it stands right now they don’t have the available cap room to offer him a max contract outright, it’s something like 5 or 6 million less than the max over the 4 years of the contract.

      • mattryannolan - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:38 PM

        Ok! I just don’t know how the whole cap system works for the NBA that well so I just didn’t get how it all worked. All I know is the luxury tax is KILLER.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:09 PM

        mattryannolan

        I can’t explain the cap rules all that well either but there are levels to them. How many years in a row you’re over it affects how much you are taxed. There are levels of tax that you pay and they get higher. Also, there are levels for how much over the cap you are. The higher you are the more you pay as well.

        So if a team hasn’t been over the cap for several years and they go slightly over for one season, the tax, while not welcome, isn’t all that bad. It may become bad if they remain over the cap for several years and continue to rise even higher above the cap.

        One may Google how the NBA cap works for details.

  7. loubearkane - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Don’t know where the HOU can add more around Howard logic comes from , they don’t even have 20 mil in cap space for Howard. Everything else would be exceptions.

    • saadasme - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:16 PM

      He may take less. Who knows, he may just want to win…….Where have you hear that before? (and it worked).

    • bougin89 - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:36 PM

      I know you’ve been bashing the Rockets all day but please. Their are plenty ways to maneuver the salary cap. Did you not see what the Warriors just did to get Iggy?

      That was the most drastic of moves but a few million over 4 years can EASILY be solved. I’m guessing this will be a sign and trade anyway.

  8. djlexluger - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Hearing he chose the Rockets.

  9. anhdazman - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    So GSW traded 3 players (Biedrins 9 mil, Jefferson 11 mil and Rush 4 mil) for a total of 24 million that just freed up.

    They sign Iggy for 12 million this year. That should leave them with 12 million.

    Why does GSW have to do a sign and trade with the Lakers. Why not trade Bogut to another team and free up his 14 million add that with the 12 million freed up with today’s transaction. 26 million and GSW doesn’t have to give the Lakers anything?

    • loubearkane - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:04 PM

      There trying to.

    • bougin89 - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:44 PM

      They are over the cap by about 2-3 million after the Iggy signing. I belive it worked because they used their 2.65 million exception. Bogut will have to be the centerpiece(salary cap wise) to make the Howard sign and trade deal work. The NBA doesn’t work on a hard salary cap, although for signing players outright and trading players it’s somewhat of a hard cap. Their are many exceptions and creative ways to get around it though.

  10. drunkenjunk - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    As a mavs fan I couldn’t be happier. Tank and hope for a star in the next drat.

  11. ron05342 - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    He has chosen to sign with the Rockets.

    PHT, as usual, behind the curve.

  12. loubearkane - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Announced sign & trade to HOU

    • ron05342 - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:05 PM

      Wrong. Houston does not need to do a sign and trade. He is signing out-right with Houston.

      • loubearkane - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:06 PM

        They announced sign & trade to get Dwight 5 years

      • melkipershero - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:22 PM

        False. Sign and trades can only be 4 years now.

    • bougin89 - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:52 PM

      I believe, and correct me if I’m wrong(I’m being lazy and not looking this up). Under the new CBA if you offer a player the extra year with his Bird rights he cannot be traded for something like 6 months.

  13. navyeoddavee9 - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    USA today! He’s a Rocket!

  14. bellerophon30 - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    I’m curious if Utah was offered Bogut but turned him down. He did go to college there and presumably wouldn’t balk at going back.

    It’ll be interesting to see what Dallas does now. Will they do another series of guys one year deals, or make a trade.

  15. soundsofsuccess7 - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    If they give us Klay a sign and trade would be awesome.

    • loubearkane - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:07 PM

      They announced sign & trade to get Dwight 5 years your getting Asik

      • melkipershero - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        Sign and trades can only be 4 years

  16. gopokes0714 - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    Yahoo! Sports reporting Agent says Howard has NOT Decided

  17. rodericksilva - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    The league sabotaged the Lakers by taking away CP3 which led to this.

    The league can’t hold down the Laker organization. They’ll be back soon.

    • bougin89 - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:54 PM

      Ugh. The owners of all the other teams turned that trade down. Stern was acting on their behalf.

      • rodericksilva - Jul 6, 2013 at 1:46 AM

        and like I said…the league…

    • melkipershero - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:12 PM

      This cracks me up. Kobe wont sacrifice for Cp3 just like he wont for Nash. Much like MJ Kobe cant play with a traditional PG due to dominating the ball.

      • rodericksilva - Jul 6, 2013 at 1:51 AM

        kobe and Fish were good for 5. if the team is scoring he is fine. if they arent then he takes more shots.

  18. sportsfan18 - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    Cubes and the Mavs won’t, but they’ve struck out the last couple of years in free agency.

    Dirk, while great and willing to accept less next year with the Mavs, is no longer a great attraction to other players to entice them to come to Dallas.

    Cubes spends and the things behind the scenes are great in Dallas like their locker room as it’s plush, video game consoles in each locker and many other things. He pampers and spoils his players but that only goes so far. They want to win instantly in this day and age.

    If Dirk was about 3 yrs younger, it would be different.

    They need to think about trading Dirk and his expiring contract but it’s basically too late in this off season to do that.

    What they have hasn’t cut it the last couple of years and they heading downwards quickly now.

  19. brucster - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    Both Fox Sports and SI are reporting that Howard has chosen Houston…

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