Dwight Howard has left agent Dan Fegan, reports USA Today’s Sam Amick (Twitter link). The Rockets center is widely expected to turn down his player option and hit free agency this summer. The center is earning $22,359,364 for this season and the value of his option for 2016/17 is $23,282,457. Howard has been interviewing replacements for Fegan lately, tweets Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com.
The Mavericks, who have close ties with Fegan, were one of the teams the Rockets spoke with about Howard before the trade deadline. Today’s news would appear to lessen the chances of Howard signing with Dallas as a free agent this summer, but that’s just my speculation. Fegan, who developed a reputation as an aggressive agent in part through his representation of Howard over the years, also counts DeMarcus Cousins, Ricky Rubio, soon-to-be free agent Courtney Lee and other notables among his clients. Kevin Martin is one of them, and the Rockets reportedly have interest in him if he works a buyout from the Timberwolves. Fegan’s profile has nonetheless taken some significant hits lately. He used to represent DeAndre Jordan, who notoriously spurned the Mavs this summer before splitting with the agent, and John Wall, who dropped him earlier this month.
Fegan and Houston were reportedly working in concert to try to find a trade partner for Howard before the deadline, but Fegan appeared to deny that, while Howard affirmed Fegan’s statement and said he didn’t ask the Rockets to trade him. Numerous teams were interested in Howard, though any deal would have been contingent on the big man agreeing to opt in for next season, something Howard wasn’t keen on, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Aside from the Mavs, Houston was in touch with the Bulls, Hawks, Celtics, Hornets, Heat, Bucks and Raptors about Howard, according to multiple reports, but the market for him was apparently soft.
The 30-year-old has appeared in 47 games this season for the Rockets and is averaging 14.6 points, 12.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 32.5 minutes per night. The big man’s numbers have suffered this season as his shots and touches are down, which is reportedly the source of some conflict between he and teammate James Harden. Both players have downplayed any reported tension.