Dwight Howard is unlikely to re-sign with the Lakers, sources tell Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The Mavericks and Rockets are now D12′s favorites as he looks ahead to the July 1st kickoff to free agency.
The big man’s main issue with the Lakers is said to be with Mike D’Antoni‘s system. There have been rumblings all year that Howard felt out of sync with the coach’s unorthodox offensive gameplan. While the Lakers are said to have little chance of re-signing Howard, Broussard (link) cautions that they can’t be completely written off thanks to Howard’s notorious indecisiveness.
The Rockets’ summer pursuit of Howard has been the worst kept secret in the NBA for quite some time now. Houston enters this offseason with the cap room necessary to give Howard a four-year, max contract while also offering a team that could be one elite center away from being a top force in the Western Conference. On top of that, Howard has a strong relationship with Rockets star James Harden and coach Kevin McHale is being pitched as the guy who can help round out Howard’s offensive game.
While Houston can be a contender right off the bat with Howard in the middle, the same can’t be said for the Mavericks. The Mavs, who missed the playoffs last year with a 41-41 record, have an aging roster headlined by Dirk Nowitzki. The biggest factor going for the Mavericks could be owner Mark Cuban who can sell Howard on a two-year plan to get back to prominence.