Apparently Dwight Howard isn’t going to decide which team he’ll play with until he makes a free throw.
All kidding aside, the star center (and 49.2 percent free throw shooter) changed his mind about signing with the Houston Rockets. According to ESPN, there is a 50 percent chance that Howard re-signs with the Los Angeles Lakers. He has ruled out Golden State, Atlanta and Dallas.
Howard played with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash in Los Angeles last season, and the Lakers were expected to make a championship run. However, chemistry issues and injuries contributed to the Lakers failing to win a playoff game. Howard wasn’t exactly impressed with the Lakers’ pitch to bring him back, but he doesn’t want to leave an extra $30 million on the table.
While state income tax and other taxes will eat up a good chunk of that sum, Howard would still reel in a lot of money if he signed with the Lakers. The Rockets offered a lucrative deal as well, but the $88 million offered by Houston is significantly fewer than the $118 million offered by the Lakers.
Houston has James Harden, Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons, and all it needed to contend was more defensive help and more help down low. It went all-in for Howard, who is a fantastic defensive player, and appeared to have him locked up, but we can’t be sure of that yet. Stay tuned as this attention-stealing story develops.