Storyline: Dwight Howard Free Agency

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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.

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.”

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.”

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.

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.

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.”

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.”

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.”
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July 22, 2018 | 12:15 pm EDT Update
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July 22, 2018 | 5:42 am EDT Update
The Thunder, Hawks and Sixers agreed on a deal that involves sending Anthony to the Hawks, and the Hawks plan to buy out Anthony, per USA TODAY Sports. It’s reported that the Rockets are the favorites to sign Anthony once that happens. Morey was asked, “So are we for sure getting Carmelo Anthony?” He responded, “In the mix.” Morey also said, “Yes,” as a reply to, “Does Daryl still have something up his sleeve?”
Storyline: Carmelo Anthony Free Agency
“It would be a great acquisition for us,” said Harden, who did run into Anthony at Paris Fashion Week last month when Harden was making the rounds with teammate P.J. Tucker. “Melo’s a proven vet. He just wants to win at this point, so it would be great for him to be on our team. The current roster we have now, we’ve got good guys back and we keep making forward progress.”