Report: Dwight Howard at the top of Mavericks free agent list

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Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard will likely opt out of his contract in time for free agency this summer.

The whole idea for the former All-Star will be to capitalize on the increased cap while being able to sign one more long-term deal before he calls it a career.

Based on what we saw from both Howard and the Rockets this past season, Houston will not be one of his potential suitors when he does hit the open market.

In no way does this mean that Texas is completely out of the equation for the eight-time All-Star.

According to Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram, the Dallas Mavericks plan to heavily pursue the proficient big man on the open market.

“At the top of the Mavericks’ wish list this year is Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard, who plans to opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent this summer. Howard, it would seem, has absolutely everything the Mavericks need from a center,” Price reported. “Plus, Howard constantly draws a double team, which would allow Dirk Nowitzki to hang out on the perimeter and basically enjoy target practice during the twilight of his career.”

Howard, 30 struggled through an uninspiring 2015-16 campaign for the Rockets, tallying an 11-year low 13.7 points per game.

A reported rift between the big man and and Houston’s face of the franchise, James Harden, didn’t help matters either.

Despite these struggles, Howard promises to be a highly-coveted option on the free-agent market. He still boasts a plus-level skill-set and is an interior presence that could, as Price indicated, open things up for Dirk out on the perimeter.

Howard’s ultimate goal might be to cash in on one huge check before it’s all said and done, but he also wants to latch on with a title contending team.

While Dallas would have to do a lot more than add him during the summer to become a viable contender out west, he sure would help the team return to relevance.