Five weeks from today, we'll be inundated with stories about free agents meeting with teams and perhaps even agreeing to contracts, as July's free agent period begins. But for now, one of the crown jewels of this year's class, Dwight Howard, remains undecided about his destination. Here are a few of the latest stories on the All-Star center's free agency, as decision day draws nearer:
- Speaking to Sam Amick of USA Today, Pau Gasol suggested it'd better from the Lakers' standpoint if Howard made a decision sooner rather than later but said there's nothing wrong with D12 exploring his options. "I'm not him," Gasol said. "I'm not in his position, but I guess it all starts with his decision and I'm sure the franchise is waiting to see whether he decides to sign (with the Lakers) or sign with somebody else, I guess."
- While the Lakers ostensibly have a financial advantage when it comes to re-signing Howard, that may not ultimately amount to much, says Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times. As Pincus points out, if Howard signed for four years rather than five, he could make up a good chunk of that fifth-year money on his next deal. And if he were to sign with a Texas team, the difference in taxes could make the difference in salaries virtually negligible.
- When free agency opens, expect Howard to listen to any team interested in making him a pitch, says Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld. After considering his options, Howard will likely choose the place where he'd be happiest and most comfortable.