NBA rumors: Howard-to-Lakers unlikely

Windhorst thinks the Lakers are doing their proper due diligence, but says Howard coming back to the Purple and Gold is probably not going to happen. “I don’t think it’s a very likely marriage,” Windhorst said on ESPN’s SportsCenter. “I think the Lakers right now are doing their due diligence on players, on available centers. Joakim Noah’s another guy they’ve looked at. “Dwight Howard has been on four different teams in the last four years. The Lakers are in need of somebody who can be healthy and give them minutes and that doesn’t fit who Dwight Howard or Joakim Noah are at this point of their careers.

More on Dwight Howard Free Agency

“But I understand why the Lakers have those names on the list. I think this is unlikely. I believe the Lakers coaches want a younger, more active player at this point in their careers.”
So does the Lakers’ recent affinity for Howard actually make sense? Should they really be after the eight-time All-Star? Are there not better options out there? According to one anonymous NBA executive who spoke to HoopsHype, the low-risk, high-reward nature of such a deal, one that would be worth the veteran minimum if it does happen, would make it a worthwhile gamble for Los Angeles. “Personal baggage aside, I would sign him,” the executive said. “He’s clearly the best player available if he’s healthy. We’ve heard the same song from him for years [as far as changing]. But for the minimum? Why not? If it doesn’t work, they move on.”
A second league exec polled by HoopsHype shared the same sentiment: “I think it’s worth the risk for them. If it doesn’t work out, they can cut bait.”
NBA Insider @ShamsCharania breaks down the Lakers beginning pursuit of Dwight Howard and the factors of motivation and health for the 8-time All-Star.

http://twitter.com/stadium/status/1163187439848054784?s=21
Ramona Shelburne: As @VeniceMase and I discussed the other day on @ESPNLosAngeles ... Dwight Howard may have left town on bad terms with some in LA. But he always had a good relationship with Jeanie Buss. Remember, Jeanie and Phil tweeting at him during the recruiting process.
Howard took some time to sit down during his time in Las Vegas, where he has regrouped with a new management team around him and is strategizing on his next steps. Several NBA teams have told The Athletic they are intrigued about Howard, who says he has lost 25 pounds since the NBA season ended and is fully cleared to play basketball. One executive who saw Howard in recent days said Howard appears to be in his best shape in years.
Miles would’ve had value next season as a shooter and veteran. But the Grizzlies were left with less than a million in space under the luxury tax line and needed to clear additional space to set up more moves. By swapping Miles with Howard, Memphis trimmed more than $3M off the books. Miles was set to hit free agency next summer and wasn’t necessarily a long-term piece. The Grizzlies aren’t planning to keep Howard, a league source told The Athletic. This was purely a money-saving maneuver.
Candace Buckner: Dwight Howard No. 21

http://twitter.com/CandaceDBuckner/status/1021447943625224193
Michael Lee: Dwight Howard doesn't expect to become another victim of the small ball era: "I plan on playing this game for another good eight years."
Michael Scotto: Dwight Howard gave up $4+ million in his buyout agreement with the Brooklyn Nets, league sources told The Athletic. The buyout gives Brooklyn more cap space to utilize if the Nets choose to do so.
Tim Bontemps: Dwight Howard’s buyout with the Nets was for $5 million, per league sources. Makes sense, given he’s getting the tax MLE from Washington. Gives Brooklyn some extra cushion under the salary cap to make a move or two.
Nets Daily: Hornets are already into the media availability on the trade. No email or announcement yet from Nets. Until the Nets and Howard agree on a buyout, Howard can't join the Wizards.
The Nets never planned to keep him, with his reputation for a bad locker room influence well-earned. They were never going to bring him into their culture and risk having a poor influence on 20-year-old building block Jarrett Allen.
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.
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But he was on the treadmill at his gym on Nov. 16 when he saw a tweet come across his feed. “It’s not the way you want to know, especially my agent was talking with the team and they said my name was off the table when all the rumors and all the stuff happened,” Rubio said. “You feel like everything that they have said to you all year and buying into a new project and a young team and they need you, blah, blah, blah. It seems like nothing’s true.”
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