NBA Rumors: Dwight Howard to Leave Lakers for Mavericks, Rockets or Hawks?

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Dwight Howard has only played one year for the Los Angeles Lakers and he already might be leaving town. The free agent can sign with any squad that he likes and after a rocky first season in Los Angeles, there’s no guarantee that he will re-sign with the team that bent over backwards to accommodate him.

The Los Angeles Daily News had this note:

A source familiar with Howard's thinking says he plans to test free agency and has considered the Lakers, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and Golden State.

Nothing remains binding, though. The source added Howard's main concern involves "what team he feels has the best chance to win championships, has the best team and system around him." The source also stressed Howard has not and will not ask the Lakers to make any moves on his behalf.

Howard going to any one of the teams mentioned makes some sense, according to Bleacher Report.

In Dallas he would be able to extend the championship window for aging superstar Dirk Nowitzki and there’s no doubt that super-owner Mark Cuban would do everything in his power to make Howard as comfortable as possible.

If Howard were to wind up in Houston, he could be the missing piece that would put a competitive, scrappy team over the top. The Rockets have been accumulating assets and shedding salary cap space for years in the hopes of bringing a marquee free agent to town and Howard certainly fits the bill.

Were Howard to go to the Hawks, that would seemingly seem to spell the end of Josh Smith’s time in Atlanta. Management would also just be trading one disgruntled big man for another. The franchise definitely needs to make a change and bringing Howard to town would certainly qualify.

The Warriors, fresh off a playoff run that saw them advance farther than anyone expected, already have a serviceable center in Andrew Bogut. However he is very injury-prone and isn’t close to Howard’s production even on his best day. The Warriors would have to move some pieces to accommodate Howard and it’s possible they would.

Sources: Bleacher Report, Los Angeles Daily News