On Friday, July 5, Dwight Howard decided to leave the Lakers for the Houston Rockets. Both parties agreed to a four-year deal worth $88 million.
Shortly after Howard made his decision, Omer Asik asked the Rockets for a trade. He reportedly did this to eliminate the possibility that he may play second string to Howard.
The Rockets denied him that trade.
Howard’s decision to leave Los Angeles also stirred up commentary from former Laker Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal and former Lakers coach Phil Jackson.
Shaq went on record making comments regarding Howard such as “It was expected. Not everyone can handle being under the bright lights” and “It was a safe move to go to a little town like Houston.”
He had also made comments about Howard first coming to LA, saying that he needs to “step into his own” and “average 28 points and 10 rebounds.” Unfortunately, Howard was unable to do that, but he did average 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Jackson’s comments, however, weren’t so nice. “”He left a distaste in Lakerland,” Jackson said via Twitter. He also said that Howard might be better off as an “Astro.” These comments drew much attention, although Howard has yet to respond.
Other free agents that have found a new home or stayed with their current team include –
- Andre Iguodala to Warriors, previously with the Denver Nuggets, 4 years $48 million
- Jarrett Jack to Cavaliers, previously with the Golden State Warriors, 4 years $25 million
- Carl Landry to Kings, previously with the Golden State Warriors, four years $26 million
- Josh Smith to Pistons, previously with the Atlanta Hawks, four years $56 million
- Devin Harris return to Dallas Mavericks 3 years more than $9 million
- Darren Collison to Los Angeles Clippers, previously with the Dallas Mavericks, 2 years $1.9 million in the first year w/ player option in second
- Carlos Delfino to Milwaukee Bucks, previously with the Houston Rockets, 2 years $6.5 million with a third year option, totaling $10 million
- J.J. Hickson to Denver Nuggets, previously with the Portland Trail Blazers, 3 years $15 million
The last day for free agents to decide and sign their new contracts is in two days (July 10).