Dwight Howard To Sign With Rockets

10:01pm: Howard, as promised, took to Twitter (or Twitlonger, to be precise) to reveal his choice of the Rockets.

"I've decided to become a member of the Houston Rockets. I feel its the best place for me and I am excited about joining the Rockets and I'm looking forward to a great season. I want to thank the fans in Los Angeles and wish them the best." 

9:36pm: It appears Howard has picked the Rockets once and for all. The Lakers have released a statement from GM Mitch Kupchak:

"We have been informed of Dwight's decision to not return to the Lakers. Naturally we're disappointed. However, we will now move forward in a different direction with the future of the franchise and, as always, will do our best to build the best team possible, one our great lakers fans will be proud to support. To Dwight, we thank him for his time and consideration, and for his efforts with us last season. We wish him the best of luck on the remainder of his NBA career."

Of course, nothing's official until July 10th, when the league's July Moratorium is up, but presumably, Howard will be headed to Houston.

9:33pm: HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy hears from a source close to Howard that he's decided to join the Rockets after all (Twitter link).

8:46pm: On ESPN's SportsCenter, Chris Broussard is reporting that Howard has told the Lakers he's changed his mind, and both the Lakers and Rockets have 50-50 chances, according to multiple reports (All Twitter links).

6:32pm: Howard is flying from Colorado to L.A. to speak with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak tonight, Bresnahan tweets.

5:47pm: Asik has no interest in backing up Howard if D12 does indeed come to Houston, and that could force a trade, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. The Hawks would listen to a sign-and-trade proposal involving Smith, Windhorst adds (Twitter links).

5:41pm: If Howard does sign with the Rockets, Mannix expects the team to try to flip Omer Asik, possibly as part of a deal for Josh Smith (Twitter link). Pincus believes the Rockets may still need to create a little more cap room to sign Howard outright to a max deal, though that won't be official until the salary cap is set next week, when the July Moratorium ends (Twitter link). 

5:36pm: Houston GM Daryl Morey tweets that while he is "excited & cautiously optimistic" that Howard might choose Houston, he and the team have not been informed of his decision (hat tip to HoopsWorld's Eric Pincus).

5:31pm: As it stands at the moment, Fegan appears to be the one putting the brakes on the story, telling Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times that, "Based on my most recent conversation wirh Dwight, it’s inaccurate" that he has chosen Houston (Twitter link). Howard had been leaning toward Houston, but with his back issues, he's wondering if leaving $30MM is the right idea, Bresnahan tweets.

5:21pm: Multiple sources tell Wojnarowski that Howard has chosen the Rockets, but that he is still finalizing details of the agreement (Twitter link). Chris Mannix of SI.com says that he's been told Howard is wrestling with the idea of passing up the extra $30MM or so that the Lakers could offer, but if all things were equal, he'd go to Houston (Twitter link). Kennedy echoes that sentiment via Twitter. The Lakers and Rockets are the only two teams that haven't been notified they're out of the running, Wojnarowski notes (on Twitter).

5:15pm: A decision is coming tonight or tomorrow, tweets Kennedy.

5:12pm: A source close to Howard tells Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld that no decision has been made, although it's unclear whether that source spoke to Kennedy before or after news broke that he would sign with the Rockets (Twitter link). While Berger and TNT's David Aldridge both confirm Howard will sign with the Rockets (Twitter links), agent Dan Fegan tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports that "Dwight has not finalized his decision" (Twitter link).

4:55pm: The most-discussed free agent of the summer has finally made his decision. After spending the week meeting with five different teams and weighing his options at a Colorado resort, Dwight Howard has opted to sign with the Rockets, reports Sam Amick of USA Today.

Howard has begun personally calling teams to tell them of his decision, tweets Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. The Warriors have already received one of those calls from Howard, according to Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group (Twitter link). The Hawks and Lakers appeared to be the other teams in the running at the very end, with the Mavericks having been officially eliminated earlier.

Chuck Myron contributed to this story.

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14 thoughts on “Dwight Howard To Sign With Rockets

  1. Gurvir Nijjar

    Lin, Harden, Parsons, Asik, Howard. Now if they add Josh Smith, the rockets will be one fun team to watch next season.

    • DieHardMsFan

      To do that I believe they have to trade both Lin and Asik I believe. But if they can do that that would make the Rockets one of the favorites to win it all next season.

    • Sean Page

      im pretty sure they have to trade asik to get howard in there. omer is too slow for the small-ball 4’s that are abundant nowadays. id rather put howard at the 4. but thats an incredible defensive frontcourt.

    • jwsox

      Asik has stated he wants out so consider him gone, which is a shame he was one of the few guys to average a double-double. and Lin will be gone to clear the space to get Smith in there…So in reality it will be Brooks-Harden-Parsons-Smith-Howard…a big three of smith-harden-howard is insane….and considering Smith and howard are best friends thats scary to see howard motivated…

        • jwsox

          You are correct sorry, but in all reality Harden is the primary ball handler so the PG is not that big of a need

  2. Sky14

    ESPN is like CNN, so happy that they have a scoop that they don’t bother to vet if it is accurate. I think Golden State is his best opportunity to win, they have a really nice core and Dwight would push them over the top.

  3. Andrew Thomas

    I think the rockets should hold on to Lin if possible, trade Asik and other parts to atlanta in S&T for jsmoove. Lin is good enough to facilitate the houston offense as a supporter for the rocket big three

    • jwsox

      Atlanta just signed paul milsap, moving Horford to the 5, the Hawks have no need for asik now

      • Andrew Thomas

        yeah I see that now. horford wouldve done better shifting to the 4, I think most of hawks nation (what little of us) was hoping for that to happen.

        • FlaveFlava

          i agree, i think the hawks best option was to slot horford in at PF and acquire asik + assets for smith

          • Andrew Thomas

            Seems that Danny Ferry and Coach Bud are building a contending team for 2015 – hence the 2 year deal to Milsap, international draftees. More I think about it I think im okay with a year or two “holding period” – if it means their goal is to build a dynasty core instead of a bandaid fix as the Hawks have been doing for the past 4-5 years.

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