NBA Free Agency: Rockets May Keep Asik and Lin

By Phillip Pyle

“Houston we have liftoff!”

After what seemed like the longest Friday in the history of recorded time, the Dwight Howard decision has been made. But the process of announcing it, just didn’t go as planned.

Howard told the Los Angeles Daily News that he talked with Atlanta, Golden State and Dallas to inform them he wouldn’t play there. Howard then flew from Aspen, Colorado to Los Angeles to meet with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, a plan that the team off guard. So Howard said he chose to call Kupchak instead.

“People were waying I was flip flopping again and that wasn’t the case,” Howard said. ” After that, I contacted Mitch. Once I contacted him, “I said I respect you, I respect what you did for me and the Lakers. Then I called Houston after that. Before that, I don’t know what happened. I knew everybody would try to turn this into a spectacle. The one thing I wanted to do with this was with class.”

By going to Houston, Howard will leave $9.3 million on the table in net guaranteed dollars, becasue he could have recieved a five-year deal and more money from the Lakers, rather than the four-year maximum deal he will get by signing with another team. This assumes that Howard will be a resident of Texas instead of California, since Texas has no state income taxes, while California has the highest state income taxes in the country. Comparing just the first four years of what the Lakers could pay Howard with what the Rockets will likely pay him, Howard will net $2.6 million more after taxes in Houston if he becomes a Texas resident.

I’ve decided to become a member of the Houston Rockets. I feel its the best place for me and I am excited (cont)

— Dwight Howard (@DwightHoward) July 6, 2013

After the deal was done, there were reports of the Omer Asik wanting out, and reportedly not looking forward to playing with Howard. As of now the Rockets have the big fish and we will see by July 10th what transpires.

Though they won’t rule out post-Howard trades, the Rockets are now open to keeping Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin, league source says. — Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 6, 2013

In what has become in akward, and idiotic tradition Lakers fans began burning Dwight Howard’s Lakers jersey Friday evening. Have a look: