By Tim Cornell
With the start of free agency less then eight hours away, there is a promising crop of talent waiting to here pitches and see which team they will be joining.
No name is even near as big as Dwight Howard’s. Yesterday Chris Paul’s representatives told teams to not bother to pursue him because he will resign with the Clippers. Now the door is wide open for a potentially long and rumor filled free agency period for Howard.
I just wanted to present a couple notes and thoughts on Howard’s choice.
1) Much like last summer, this FA should be long, drama filled, and probably over all annoying. There will be tons of rumors coming from rusted sources as well as crazed fans on twitter. Part of me just wants to stay off of twitter until he signs somewhere, but that would just be too tough. Just remember to not read into anything TOO much unless it is coming from a VERY trusted source, or until Howard officially signs somewhere.
2) Will he return to the Lakers? Me guess is no. Howard never really appeared to enjoy his time in LA this past season. For a player with a huge ego and who wants to be a No. 1 option or at least a very strong No. 2, Howard was often times pushed down to No. 3 with Pau Gasol in the mix. This was due to coaching changes early and also because of Howard’s back injury. Howard is not insisting on firing D’Antoni for him to stay in LA. Although I think it is pretty clear he does not like the system D’Antoni uses. LA does not seem to be the place for Howard to win a ring.
3) Ok Tim, since you know so much, where will Dwight Howard be going? My guess is as good as anyone’s, but my best guess is that he will sign with the Rockets. The Rockets appear to have the best players and coaches to surround Howard with. Howard will be a clear 1st or 2nd option with Harden. He will be able to dominate inside offensively and defensively while having shooters around him and Harden and Lin dishing him the ball. The Rockets were a great offensive team last year which will only get better with Howard. But defensively they struggled, adding the best defensive center in the league to their roster will greatly help them.
Once Howard picks a destination, then the teams in the running for him can turn their focuses else where and the slew of other free agents will start falling into place.