Jared Weiss: Dwight Howard has finalized a buyout with …

More on Dwight Howard Free Agency

The Washington Wizards are looking to fill their super-sized hole at center with a player once known as Superman. Center Dwight Howard, who was traded to the Brooklyn Nets from the Charlotte Hornets prior to the NBA draft, wants a buyout to become an unrestricted free agent. Once the trade becomes official and terms of Howard's buyout are completed, the Wizards plan to be at the front of the line to offer a contract to the three-time Defensive Player of the Year and eight-time all-star, according to several people in the league familiar with the team's plans.
Howard remains in a holding pattern. The trade from Charlotte to Brooklyn will not become official until the end of the league's annual moratorium on transactions at 12:01 a.m. July 6. At that point, the Nets and Howard are expected to enter into negotiations over a possible buyout, and Howard will then have to clear waivers. Once that happens, Washington will be among the favorites to work a deal with the 14-year veteran.
Sam Amick on Dwight Howard: “There are a lot of teams, maybe the majority of teams, that [won’t consider him at all due to his history]. That’s a hard yes. First of all, what’s interesting is that his buyout isn’t done yet. His timing isn’t great. They haven’t completed the buyout. I need to go back and look, but I believe Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the trade with the Brooklyn Nets can’t go down until July 6. But I do know for a fact, independent of that, they haven’t even agreed on a number [for the buyout]. That part still has to get resolved. Then, as far as his prospects, he’s like DeMarcus [Cousins] in the sense that he’d like to play with LeBron [James]. That’s definitely on his radar."
Sam Amick: "Dwight Howard wants to play with the Warriors and he would want it to be on the mid-level, that $5.3 million. It’d be a huge paycut for him, but he’d like to play for the Warriors. But barring a change there, I don’t see it happening. There a lot of folks within that organization who are looking at him sideways. I’ve heard some talk that maybe he could try to get a meeting and see them face-to-face to help them get a sense of who he is as a person and try to get rid of that stigma, then maybe something happens. But unless that happens, I don’t see it happening. New Orleans and Washington are both possibilities from there. He’s going to have an NBA job, but he’s one of those guys whose reputation precedes him and that’s not helping his cause.”
Eight-time All-Star center Dwight Howard, who has yet to complete an expected buyout with Brooklyn, has serious interest in joining the Warriors. But there remains skepticism within the Warriors’ walls about whether he would be a good fit, with Howard also known to be interested in joining LeBron James (wherever he winds up), New Orleans and Washington.
Chris Mannix: Another team to watch in Dwight's free agency: New Orleans. Pelicans have chased Howard before, and with uncertainty surrounding the future of Cousins, Howard could be a cheaper replacement.
Eight-time NBA All-Star Dwight Howard and the Brooklyn Nets have agreed to enter into buyout talks of his $23.8 million expiring contract. "I want to be in a situation where I have an opportunity to help a team win," Howard said during a phone interview. "That's my only goal. All I need is a real chance and a clean slate where it's not people talking about my past."
Howard said he was blindsided by the trade, a transaction that allowed Charlotte to distance itself from the tax line. "I was just really in total shock because I wasn't expecting it to happen," he said. "I thought this season was really good. For one, this is the healthiest I've been and two, my stats this season has been one of the best since I've been in the NBA."
Chris Patrick: Another big move today! Longtime client Dwight Buycks @BuycksWorld13 officially signs with the @DetroitPistons .. Perfect fit! #BuycksWorld
David Baumann: And there's your answer straight from @DwightHoward about whether he could've returned to @OrlandoMagic in 16/17 as a FA (h/t @erbe_brian):

http://twitter.com/DavidBaumannORL/status/886913836913131520
How much longer do you want to play? Dwight Howard: I want to get to 20 years. Now I’m at 13. Could you see yourself playing all those years in Atlanta? I would love to. I just got a nice place out in the country. I don’t want to leave it for eight months out of the year and just see it for three. I would love to.
The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has signed free agent center Dwight Howard, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed. "We would like to welcome Dwight, and his family, home to Atlanta and into our Hawks basketball family. We feel Dwight will have a huge impact on both ends of the court with his physical presence and the force he brings to the game,” Budenholzer said. “We also look forward to his impact in our community as we all look to take Atlanta to another level on the court and off. We feel very fortunate to add a player of Dwight’s caliber and we look forward to assimilating Dwight into our team.”
Dwight Howard had a productive meeting with the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, according to a league source. It was the first and currently the only meeting Howard, an Atlanta native, has scheduled. "It was a really, really, really good meeting," the source said. "Very impressive. We don't have a deal. Dwight's going to look at all his options. But it went very, very well."
Sam Amick: Update relating to that last RT: I'm told the Hawks' meeting with Dwight Howard has already concluded & - you guessed it - it went well. - Q: not VERY well? - Sam Amick: Actually, since you asked, the exact phrasing was "very well." Howard-to-the-Hawks is very possible.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Atlanta Hawks and free agent Dwight Howard made a strong connection in meeting today, sources tell @The Vertical. There's traction there.
Tim MacMahon: The Mavs have no plans to target Dwight Howard or Bismack Biyombo at this point after missing out on Hassan Whiteside, a source told ESPN.com. As has been the case for months, the Mavs' stance on Howard is that their interest depends on his price tag plummeting far below a maximum contract.
Jason Quick: A person with knowledge of the Blazers' plans says their intention is to go after both Chandler Parsons and Dwight Howard.
Calvin Watkins: When Dwight Howard starts having his free agent meetings on Friday he'll be seeking a contract starting at $24 million a season according to a source. Howard is expected to conduct his meetings in his hometown of Atlanta.
A max contract for Howard could exceed $132 million over four years. No team executives interviewed by B/R believe Howard merits that kind of investment, or anything close to it. "When you've been the go-to guy—the starring position—for so long, it's kind of hard to accept [a lesser stature]," said Vince Carter, who played with Howard in Orlando.
Assuming he signs elsewhere, Howard would be joining his fourth team in six seasons. That kind of instability tends to raise red flags. "He wants to win," said a GM who once pursued Howard. "But I don't know if he knows how hard and how serious he has to be about winning."
Howard's work ethic is solid, but he's an irrepressible class clown. He doesn't know when to turn it off. "We walk in the locker room and everything is a joke," said one team official who worked with Howard.
This is a common refrain, too—that Howard is too easily swayed by friends, family and advisers, making decisions based on whoever spoke to him last.
The Blazers have a gazillion in cap room, and they want to hold the line in a Western Conference that will be better almost across the board. They could use a defensive anchor at center, and Blazers will absolutely look at Howard, per several league sources. Boston has a Dwight meeting on the books already -- stock up on candy, guys! -- and could use a rim protector.
Sources told ESPN that Howard, 30, is likely to meet with as many as five teams in free agency, with a return to the Houston Rockets widely seen as unlikely after Howard declined his $23.2 million player option for next season.
Marc Stein: Story going online now: Atlanta has Kevin Durant aspirations, too, while ESPN sources say the Hawks are also weighing a run at Dwight Howard
The Knicks, as Jackson and coach Jeff Hornacek acknowledged, are now in the market for a center and a shooting guard. Jackson, as reported by the Daily News, told Rose that the Knicks will be making a run at top free agent Kevin Durant. In terms of a center, which is the deepest position in the 2016 free agent class, the options include Joakim Noah, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol. The Knicks are expected to sign Willy Hernangomez, their 2015 second-round pick, as the back-up center.
James Harden on Rockets center Dwight Howard, who elected to become a free agent: "He's his own man. He knows what's best for his career. He will make whatever the best decision is, that he wants. Whatever that is."
Another name to keep in mind is Dwight Howard. Sources say Howard would consider signing with the Knicks. It is unclear at this point if the Knicks are interested in Howard. Signing Howard to a max deal would eat up most of New York's cap space.
Ian Begley: The Knicks are looking to upgrade their backcourt this offseason. But if they have any interest in a center, one of the top bigs on the market would be open to signing with them. The Knicks are one of several teams Dwight Howard would consider in free agency, league sources say. Howard told friends earlier in the season that he was interested in playing for the Knicks; that interest remains as Howard approaches free agency, per league sources. It's unclear, though, if Phil Jackson and the Knicks would have any interest in Howard. They signed Robin Lopez to a four-year contract last summer. Lopez was a bright spot for the club during last year's 32-win campaign. The club is expected to have at least $30 million in cap space this summer.
"He [coach Mike D'Antoni] would welcome him [Howard] back. We would welcome him back," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey told SiriusXM Bleacher Report Radio's Howard Beck and Noah Coslov on Sunday when asked about the situation.
I was told by both sides that a Orlando reunion is highly unlikely. The Magic don’t want it and I am not sure Dwight does either. I know a lot of people keep saying Dwight would, but people in his life say no chance. He does not want the luggage that would come with that.
Most league observers expect former Magic center Dwight Howard to opt out of his Houston Rockets contract and become a free agent this summer. But it’s highly unlikely that the Magic would pursue Howard unless he seeks a one-year deal for reasonable money.
Rockets guard Jason Terry is not convinced former All-Star center Dwight Howard is done in Houston “I wouldn’t rule (a return) out,” Terry said in an interview with Justin Termine and Eddie Johnson on SiriusXM NBA Radio. “He has yet to opt out. Again, it’s just going to depend on if you get the right coach in there.
ESPN: Most people believe you will opt out of your contract with Houston on July 1. Are you leaning that way? Howard: "To be honest, I have had some conversations with close friends on what would happen if I do opt out. But I haven't really come out and said, 'I'm going to opt out and do this and that.' I just can't focus on that right now. We didn't have the kind of season we wanted, and I didn't have the kind of season I wanted and it was really upsetting to me. So my thinking is, 'I'm going to get in the gym, get my body right and when the playoffs are over take a look at everything.' As much as it may seem crazy or unbelievable that I'm not thinking about it, every time I do think about it, my mind starts racing back and forth. I don't need that kind of pressure right now. My agent (Perry Rogers) is smart. He's done this for years. Let him worry about the teams and the [contract] numbers.''
Former Mavericks guard Jason Terry says Dallas would be a "great fit" for Howard. But he has to accept Carlisle's style of coaching. Terry detailed the idea -- and a potential issue -- in an interview for ESPN Radio's Cowlishaw and Mosley on Tuesday. "It would be a great fit. I think the key cog in that wheel is Dwight," Terry said. "Are you willing to come in and accept Carlisle's style of coaching? He has a great offensive system. It's all about structure, player movement, ball movement. But the big guy really doesn't touch it a lot on the inside."
Aaron Goatdon: If he could pull a miracle and get a star like Jimmy Butler on the team, I think getting Dwight Howard or Mike Conley would be successful. - Steve Kyler: Dwight Howard is not an option in Orlando's eyes... Mike Conley not very likely either.
Long-time NBA coach Herb Brown joined me on the radio show (weekdays 12-3p on 750-AM and 102.9-FM) to talk about the NBA playoffs, the job that Portland coach Terry Stotts has done, and Dwight Howard to Portland rumors. Listen to the full interview here. "I think you're courting disaster. He's not a finisher inside. He doesn't like being subservient, or being second-fiddle to other players, and I don't think he's developed his game, and improved his game. I'd rather have (Hassan) Whiteside. I'd rather have (Andre) Drummond. I'd rather have Steven Adams, because he's a workhorse. "Just because Portland is on Howard's short list, it doesn't mean Howard has to be on Portland's short list. I'm a little afraid of that."
Howard, who played the past three seasons with the Houston Rockets, has a player option worth $23.2 million for the 2016-17 season. It's expected Howard will not pick up the option and will enter the free-agent market, looking for a max contract that could pay him $30 million per season. "I haven't made any decision," Howard said Tuesday night. "My job is to get in the gym and work my butt off."
Long-time NBA coach Herb Brown joined me on the radio show (weekdays 12-3p on 750-AM and 102.9-FM) to talk about the NBA playoffs, the job that Portland coach Terry Stotts has done, and Dwight Howard to Portland rumors. "I think you're courting disaster. He's not a finisher inside. He doesn't like being subservient, or being second-fiddle to other players, and I don't think he's developed his game, and improved his game. I'd rather have (Hassan) Whiteside. I'd rather have (Andre) Drummond. I'd rather have Steven Adams, because he's a workhorse. "Just because Portland is on Howard's short list, it doesn't mean Howard has to be on Portland's short list. I'm a little afraid of that."
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. 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.
As I said during an episode of the Orlando Sentinel’s “Orlando Magic Now” webcast on April 7, I think it is highly unlikely that the Magic will have interest in signing Howard to a multi-year deal.
The Rockets have not ruled out trying to keep Howard, but that would be part of a larger plan and would depend greatly on their choice of coach. The Rockets' top priority would be to join the pursuit of Thunder star Kevin Durant. Oklahoma City's success and the Rockets' issues could complicate that because the Rockets likely seek a key signing to help entice Durant, the prize of the summer.
When the subject of his future came up Wednesday, Howard declined one inquiry and later dismissed another by turning away in silence. Harden offered a tepid endorsement to bringing back a player whose star has diminished greatly because of injuries to his back and knees. “I mean, ultimately it’s his decision, but you know, obviously, we love big fella here,” Harden said. “And you know, I guess he’ll go back with his family and he’ll figure it out.”
The Rockets will have a comprehensive list of coaches to view whenever the season ends. Bickerstaff, who remains in good standing with management, will be part of that conversation. Alexander and Morey believe that Harden will play a role in helping to hire a coach and potentially sign free agents. Howard is not expected to have a role. It's expected that he will become a free agent and seek a new team. Orlando, Milwaukee, Portland and Charlotte are the favorites.
Howard is frustrated because he believes Harden doesn't respect him enough. Howard texts former teammates asking what can be done to solve the problems. That same poor dynamic between Harden and Howard, and the inconsistent play of others has hurt Bickerstaff, who took over 11 games into the season when Alexander fired McHale. "The team was not responding to Kevin," Morey said at the time of the firing. "There is no time in the West."
It's expected that he will become a free agent and seek a new team. Orlando, Milwaukee, Portland and Charlotte are the favorites.
Parsons will opt out of his Mavericks contract to be a free agent, an option Howard has with the Rockets. Parsons said if he signs with Dallas, he would recruit Howard, as he did when Howard signed with the Rockets in 2014. "Is he a prophet?" Howard said of Parsons' prediction that Howard will leave Houston. "Our focus is on this basketball game. It doesn't matter what anybody on the outside says. We are friends. We're close. None of that stuff matters right now. This is about this team right here, what we're trying to accomplish. Who cares what anybody else says?
"I don't pay attention to it. My job is to focus on being great tomorrow and helping this team win, no matter what anybody else has to say. Chandler and I are close friends. It's not about what he thinks or he wants right now. It's about this team, what we're trying to accomplish."
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