If the Dwight Howard-saga of this offseason hasn’t begun already, it definitely has begun now. ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported Thursday morning that Dwight Howard’s chances of re-signing with the Los Angeles Lakers are very little, according to sources close to the situation.
Sources: Dwight Howard unlikely to re-sign with the Lakers. Dallas and Houston the favorites. Main issue w/Lakers is Mike D’Antoni’s system
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 27, 2013
Howard is willing to forgo the extra $30 million the Lakers can pay him to play for a coach and in a system he feels will better use his skill set, one source said. Other sources close to Howard stated that his major problem with the Lakers is the system that coach Mike D’Antoni employs. Beyond that, he did not enjoy playing with Kobe Bryant, though he could manage to do so in a different system, a source said. Howard also does not want to be second fiddle to Bryant for several more seasons.
This puts the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, and Atlanta Hawks as the main front-runners to woo in the superstar center.
While the Rockets have been in the news lately as possibly being the best fit for Howard, it remains to be seen if D12 would want to play in a similar system as he did under D’Antoni, which may be the biggest concern for Howard when he makes his final decision.
Sources close to Howard say that he sees the Rockets’ style of play as a big factor of why he wouldn’t sign with Houston. While he likes the idea of playing for coach Kevin McHale, he sees that they play an up-tempo, perimeter-oriented style that does not feature post play.
To get Howard, the Rockets will have to convince him that they will play a style more conducive to his skills.
The official free agent period begins July 1, and the Rockets are scheduled to visit Howard in Los Angeles.