It’s been a quiet off-season so far for the Lakers in terms of personnel changes. While there have been plenty of ideas thrown out by various media outlets, actual rumors coming from the teams themselves have been quiet. The league generally asks teams that aren’t involved in the playoffs to keep their rumors and chatter to a minimum until the playoffs are completed, which could explain the lack of talk coming from the organization.
Regardless, the big fish in Los Angeles this summer is Dwight Howard, who becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Howard has said multiple times that he expects to take some time to make his decision, but a new report from Ken Berger of CBS Sports states that while Los Angeles is still a possibility for the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, it’s the Houston Rockets that are intriguing him now.
With six weeks to go before Howard becomes an unrestricted free agent, the team that is said to intrigue him the most is the Houston Rockets, according to multiple people briefed on internal conversations surrounding Howard’s free-agent decision. The Rockets have a young star, James Harden, who has proved himself worthy of playing the leading role for the franchise; a budding 3-point shooting threat in Chandler Parsons; a defensive-minded coach in Kevin McHale; and Omer Asik, the kind of 7-footer Howard is believed to want next to him in the frontcourt.
The Rockets are a couple of minor moves away from having room to sign Howard; they have a team option on Francisco Garcia’s $6.4 million and Carlos Delfino’s $3 million is fully non-guaranteed, for example. If they chose to or needed to make a trade to create room, they have numerous attractive young players on tradable contracts, such as 2012 No. 5 pick Thomas Robinson.
This certainly isn’t what the Lakers want to hear.
Still, if there’s one thing we know about Howard and where he intends on playing, it’s that there will be a whole lot of rumors before a decision is actually made. For now, this is the latest news, and we’ll wait and see what he has in store for us.
Welcome to the Dwightmare 2.0, Los Angeles. Be sure to bring a friend.
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