“Dwight’s position has remained unchanged since the end of this past season,” said Dan Fegan of LaGardere Unlimited. “He fully intends to explore free agency at the end of next season, regardless of what team trades for him, including Brooklyn.”
Read: Howard could get traded anywhere, but he’s not signing an extension with anyone. He’s going to become a free agent next July. Excellent! No more silly rumors about Brooklyn (January 15th, now irrelevant!) or the Lakers, and there’s plenty of time for GMs to do what Atlanta’s Danny Ferry did – gut the roster so the opportunity of acquiring Howard presents itself. Oh, and here’s the extension side of things:
The longest Howard could sign an extension, according to ESPN Insider’s Larry Coon, would be two years if he signed with Orlando and was traded, or three years if he signed after being traded.
If he waits until his current deal expires, Howard would be eligible to sign a new five-year deal for as much as $108 million.
Chicago, are you paying attention? One has to wonder if perhaps Oklahoma City comes up short again next season, perhaps it ponders getting in the mix (Harden & Ibaka for Howard?). [Ed. Actually, with the new CBA rules, that may not work next summer.] I’d say the big winners right now are Atlanta and Houston, two teams with a) cap space next year and b) young talent or picks Orlando may want.
I’m sure the statement from Howard’s agent will completely put all the Dwight Howard trade rumors to a grinding halt. Yes, definitely.