If you tend to grow tired of news headlines constantly surrounding Dwight Howard, you might want to disappear this summer.
According to CBS Sports' Ken Berger, the upcoming superstar free agent won't immediately re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. Instead, he will "explore all such options":
With the Lakers hoping for a swift decision from Dwight Howard on his free agency this summer, the All-Star center has given no indication he will rush the process and has privately indicated that he plans to give strong consideration to multiple teams, league sources told CBSSports.com.
Let the "Summer of Dwight" begin.
Many fans quickly became annoyed with Howard's off-the-court antics when he was with the Orlando Magic. He seemingly went back and forth between wanting out and being perfectly happy on countless occasions, and when he was finally shipped to L.A., it seemed as though the media circus was over.
Just one year later, it's back on.
That's not to suggest Howard isn't worth all of this attention.
Despite recovering from major back surgery and never really looking 100 percent, he averaged 17.1 points on 57.8 shooting to go with a league-high 12.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per contest this season.
When he was on the court, the Lake Show scored 3.4 points per 100 possessions more than when he was off it.
Even during a perceived down year, Howard, who is still just 27 years old, showcased what makes him one of the most dominant forces in the league down low.
As such, the interest in him once free agency starts on July 1 will be overwhelming.
According to Berger, teams such as the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks—who both made serious attempts at a coup last year when he was on the trade block—will be in contention for the big man's services. The Atlanta Hawks also jump out as a team with potentially oodles of cap space.
However, as Berger also points out, the Lakers may still have the clear advantage. Because of the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, they are able to offer the superstar bigger annual increases and a longer deal—if that is indeed what he desires.
Either way, there figures to be much speculation and a slew of questions surrounding Howard's future in the coming months.
And as we currently stand, those questions won't be answered anytime soon.
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