Dwight Howard has reportedly thrown his name into the NBA free agency hat after declining his player option with the Houston Rockets, per Shams Charania of The Vertical.
The Vertical Sources: Houston Rockets star Dwight Howard has declined his $23.2 million player option for 2016-'17, enters free agency.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 21, 2016
That’s a lot of money to leave on the table, but Howard stands to earn plenty more on his next contract, wherever he lands.
His 2015-16 season was a disappointment playing alongside James Harden with the Rockets. Howard never got into a comfort zone playing on a team in which he was not a featured offensive player. He finished the campaign having posted the lowest average points per game since his rookie season (13.7).
While a down year might cause some to wonder if Howard is nearing the end of his career, it’s worth pointing out that he’s just 30 years old.
Former teammate Jason recently scoffed at the notion that he is losing his ability to play at a high level. He said the Dallas Mavericks (who could potentially lose Dirk Nowitzki to free agency) would be in title contention if they signed him and called him a top-three center in the NBA.
It remains to be seen if teams view him in the same light. We recently took a look at the top landing spots for Howard, and it’s clear he has some enticing options (more on that here). Another thing that is just as clear is that Howard has no intention of going back to Houston.