Center Dwight Howard will sign a free-agent contract with the Houston Rockets, spurning efforts by the Los Angeles Lakers to keep him there, USA Today reported.
The newspaper, citing an unidentified person with knowledge of Howard’s decision who requested anonymity because the decision has not yet been announced, said today that the three-time National Basketball Association defensive player of the year chose Houston over the Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told reporters today in an e-mail that “we are out of the DH sweepstakes.”
The Warriors have agreed with free-agent guard Andre Iguodala on a four-year, $48 million contract, Yahoo Sports reported earlier today.
The 27-year-old Howard, a seven-time All-Star, was regarded as the top free agent this offseason. The 6-foot-11 center has averaged 18.3 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots a game during his nine-year career.
The Lakers were able to offer Howard a contract worth $118 million over five years, the NBA’s maximum. The most money other teams could give him was $88 million over four years.
NBA players can agree on contracts, though they can’t sign until July 10, when the league’s moratorium on trades and signings is lifted.