Dwight Howard Rumors: NBA Free Agent Center Shopping For Houston House? Lakers, Rockets In The Lead?

 @GP_IBTimes
on June 28 2013 2:16 PM
Dwight Howard Lakers
Reports indicate center Dwight Howard is "unlikely" to re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. Reuters

It was reported Friday that NBA center Dwight Howard will announce on July 10 whether he will re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers or join another team.

But one realtor on Twitter may have made the announcement for Howard, as first reported by CSN Houston.

Going by the Twitter handle “THEREALALLENOU”, the self-proclaimed “house flipper” and realtor tweeted: “Dwight Howard is in Houston looking at houses today.” And followed up with: “I know this because they made an appt to see one of our houses.”

The Twitter account also links to a Houston-based real estate company called SSW Fine Properties.

If this is true, it would confirm speculation that the 27-year-old will sign with the Houston Rockets. That would cut his ties with the Lakers who traded for Howard last summer in the hopes that a year in the purple and gold and life on the West coast would be enough to sway him to sign a long-term extension.

According to ESPN Los Angeles, Howard will notify the world of his decision on July 10. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak acknowledged recent rumors, but he still likes his club’s chances.

"The word I've used is 'optimistic,'" Kupchak said. "I think I'm optimistic. I understand that there's a possibility [Howard] won't [re-sign], and I probably don't have any more information than anybody in this room does. I'm aware of a lot of the stuff that's flying back and forth, a lot of the rumors, so there's a realistic possibility that he won't be back.

“But I'm optimistic that he will."

Howard is considering L.A., Houston, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Atlanta Hawks.

The Lakers can offer Howard the most money, but it was reported Thursday by ESPN that he is “unlikely” to re-sign. Howard reportedly did not like playing in head coach Mike D’Antoni’s system or playing with Kobe Bryant.

L.A. can offer Howard a five-year $118 million deal, while any other interested team can only sign him to a four-year $88 million contract.

Houston has enough cap space to sign Howard, and has a younger and arguably better nucleus of players than the Lakers. James Harden thrived as the primary scorer in his first season with the Rockets, and Omer Asik and Chandler Parsons round out an already solid frontcourt. Howard could also open up lots of lanes for point guard Jeremy Lin.

Still, Howard also had some reservations as to whether Houston head coach Kevin McHale’s system was a good fit, and if the Rockets could figure out a way to slow things down. 

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