NBA

NBA Free Agency: What will the Lakers do with Dwight Howard

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While Dwight Howard isn’t schedule to become a free agent until July 1st, rumors and predictions regarding his future in the NBA and possible destinations began emerging in recent days. With the 2013 NBA free agency set to begin next week, names such as the Hawks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks are reportedly preparing their bids in an attempt to persuade the big man once he hits the free agent market.

Dwight Howard Howard’s current team, the Los Angeles Lakers hope they can re-signing the star center, but considering the way things look right now,  it seems they have to raise their bid if they really want to lock the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.  Last week, Lakers’ star Kobe Bryant made clear the team needs his talents, saying the team has to do whatever is possible to retain Howard.

“Those guys are hard to find, they don’t grow on trees. When you have someone like that with his talent level, you have to be able to keep him and lock him in with this franchise.”  Bryant said of Howard.

Howard was limited last season after coming off back surgery and dealing with a shoulder injury. His scoring was down at 17.1 points per game but he led the NBA with 12.4 rebounds.  The Lakers made it to the Playoffs where they faced San Antonio in the first round. Despite the effort, the team got swept by the Spurs in four games.  Howard faced a ton of criticism after being ejected from Game 4 with over nine minutes left in the third quarter after picking up his second technical foul of the game, leaving his team depleted and trailing 55-34 and giving fans and team supporters a negative last impression.

At this time, what he will or won’t do remains a mystery to all NBA betting fans, however, Howard, whose infamous indecisiveness last season led to his Orlando saga being dubbed ‘The Dwightmare’, may reach a contract before expected.

Once Howard becomes an unrestricted free agent, at least four teams will focus in pursuing the 27-year old center. Hawks, Mavericks and Warriors are all willing to begin negotiations; however, the Houston Rockets seem to have more chances of becoming Howard’s destination if he does not return to Los Angeles next season.

Last year Houston’s general manager Daryl Morey pushed for Howard’s services.  The proposal failed, but the team was able to acquire some key players including Jeremy Lin and James Harden, and make it to the Playoffs for the first time since the 2009 season. Last week, the Rockets made it clear that they want Howard.

Several sports news sites informed that Houston may shed the contract of one or two players in order to make some room for Howard. The Rockets have no first-round draft choices; a situation that can help the team to stay below the cap hit set for the upcoming season. Despite the fact the Rockets seem to have the advantage over the Lakers, it all depends on Howard. More news and updates on the 2013 NBA Draft and postseason will be posted soon, so stay tuned.
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