Dwight Howard opted out of his contract with the Houston Rockets that would have paid him $23.3 million to seek a max deal with a starting salary of $31 million. According to the latest NBA rumors, Howard will not get close to what he wants as NBA executives think he only commands about $10-15 million annually.
The 30-year-old was disappointing in his third year in Houston just like the entire team, but he was able to average 13.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.6 blocks per game. He did not have a good relationship with James Harden and there are questions about his maturity and winning attitude.
According to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, Howard thinks that his reputation as a former superstar will land him a max contract. His failure to adapt to the current running game of the NBA hinders what he can really do at this stage of his career.
Teams that are interested in Howard will be put off by his demands and they could just opt for other options. This year’s free agency class is also loaded with talented big men such as Andre Drummond, Al Horford, Hassan Whiteside, Al Jefferson, Joakim Noah, Bismack Biyombo, Ian Mahinmi and Festus Ezeli.
“Team executives who spoke to B/R predicted Howard might command $10-15 million in a starting salary—far short of the $23.3 million he just opted out of in Houston, and less than half the $31 million max salary he is said to be seeking. He might also have to settle for a short deal,” Beck wrote.
The report also noted that one team official thinks that Howard needs to let go of his post game to become a more effective player in the NBA. He is still a great rebounder and defender but his unwillingness to adapt to the modern game is a big deterrent to teams.
Nonetheless, Howard will have plenty of suitors in free agency that will offer him a worthy contract. Chris Broussard and Marc Stein of ESPN noted that the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks have secured a meeting with Howard. Others teams that have shown interest in him include the Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trail Blazers.
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