Days after being courted by several teams for his services, Dwight Howard has finally made a decision: he is going to Houston, Texas to join the Rockets.
The announcement came early on Friday evening with multiple media outlets reporting the move. Howard, a free agent, was being strongly pursued by five teams for his services. Among them: the Rockets, the Golden State Warriors, the Dallas Mavericks, the Atlanta Hawks and the team he spent last season with, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Almost from the get-go, the Rockets were believed to be the frontrunners in the Howard sweepstakes, as they were owners of a nice collection of young talent for Howard to join, including young star James Harden, and they had an-all-time great big man as their head coach in Kevin McHale, someone who could relate to Howard and teach him the ropes. Texas also has no state taxes, which means a good portion of Howard’s salary he’d be able to keep.
Howard spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Orlando Magic. He was ultimately traded to the Lakers before last season due to his indecisiveness on whether he wanted to stay with the team once his contract expired. After an injury-riddled and relatively disappointing season with the Lakers, Howard decided to test the free agency market. And it was the Rockets who caught his eye the most.
With the acquisition of Howard, the Houston Rockets have catapulted to one of the top teams in the west. There are talks about the team possibly trying to pick up another big name free agent in Josh Smith, who was Howard’s AAU teammate in high school. But for now, over the span of the last calendar year, the Rockets have gone from a non-playoff threat, to one of the more intriguing teams in the league with the move to get James Harden just before the start of last season, and now with the pick-up of Howard.
Houston could very well be playing well into the months of May and June, very, very soon.