Rockets News

Houston Rockets’ Dwight Howard Declines Player Option

Apr 18, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) holds onto a rebound against the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter in game two of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Rockets 115-106. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 18, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) holds onto a rebound against the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter in game two of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Rockets 115-106. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
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As expected Houston Rockets big man Dwight Howard is opting-out of his 2016-2017 Player Option for Next Season.

The Vertical writer Shams Charania is reporting that center Dwight Howard declined his player option for the 2016-2017 season to become a free agent.

The news come as no surprise to anyone as throughout last season reports continuously emerged regarding Dwight Howard unhappiness either “playing second fiddle” for Rockets top dog James Harden or for not having enough touches on the offensive end.

Sources: Dwight Howard declines option, enters free agency. @ShamsCharania report on @TheVertical. https://t.co/YUPdexqH4P

— The Vertical (@TheVertical) June 21, 2016

Howard tried to smooth things over last December by declaring he wanted to work things out and that he “chose this place” to play but it was clear that the relationship between the big man, Harden and the franchise was not the same.

So it was probably the last straw for Howard when the Rockets confirmed they had reached a deal with head coach Mike D’Antoni someone who had referred to Howard’s stay in Los Angeles as “very uncomfortable“. It was also likely a sign that the Houston Rockets are heading towards a different direction next season and that direction doesn’t involve Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard's reps just told Rockets general manager Daryl Morey that he will not opt in to the final year of his contract, source said.

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) June 21, 2016

Howard's decision was called "a first step" and a "business decision." But he will look at options, considering "winning" and "environment."

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) June 21, 2016

Rockets' Dwight Howard tells team will not opt in for final year of contract to become free agent https://t.co/yjkHezTW3e via @houstonchron

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) June 21, 2016

And while it’s true that the Rockets might still decide to make an offer to Dwight Howard in free agency it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see Superman playing for H-town once again.

Dwight Howard leaves behind a $23.2M player option that at least opens up some room in the Rockets cap space for Daryl Morey to replace him accordingly on free agency.

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