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article imageOp-Ed: Dwight Howard – Will he stay or will he go?

By Marina Todic     May 20, 2013 in Sports
NBA free agency period is fast approaching and L.A. Lakers star center Dwight Howard has a decision to make, stay in LA and build on the legacy of great big men or take his talents elsewhere.
Howard in the teams exit interview, vowed he will do “what makes him happy” when deciding if he stays or goes. Howard didn’t have his usual dominate year due to injuries but still put up 17 points per game, while leading the league with 12 rebounds, added 2 blocks in 35 minutes and playing 76 of the 82 games. He should be completely healthy next season as his recovery from back surgery will be a full year and his torn labrum in his shoulder will heal.
It’s been a season to forget if you’re the Lakers, first firing Mike Brown after a disappointing 1-4 start, then having the opportunity to get Phil Jackson but instead opting to go with Mike D’Antoni, who wasn’t a good fit from the start, benching Pau and not being able to play him together with Dwight. Last month of the season, D’Antoni made some adjustments to feed the bigs in the post and earning coach of the month as the Lakers ended the month going 7-1 and eventually getting the 8th seed in the playoffs only to lose in 4 games to the Spurs.
Outside of Dwight, Lakers have a lot of questions. Will D’Antoni remain the coach? Will Pau finally be traded or will the amnesty be used on him? Some even suggesting Kobe could be up for amnesty as he is recovering from a torn Achilles and set to make over $30 million.
As of right now, all signs point to the Lakers resigning Dwight as they can offer him a five-year, $118 million contract as opposed if he decides to leave, the most another team can give him is four years and $88 million. It will be hard for Howard to turn down that type of money and the big market that Los Angeles can offer him.
One team that will make a serious run at Dwight will be the Houston Rockets. With only $38 million committed to player salaries next year, Houston's payroll has enough to offer Howard a max deal. Rockets could also choose to decline team options on Carlos Delfino, Francisco Garcia and Aaron Brooks that would trim another $11.5 million from the payroll.
If that were to happen, that would mean the Rockets would have the ability to sign at least one more max player to join forces with Howard, James Harden, Chandler Parsons, and Omer Asik. Giving them a scary starting five to compete for the championship.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about NBA, Dwight howard, Los angeles lakers, Houston rockets, NBA FREE AGENCY
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