With free agency looming, Dwight Howard is set to hit the free-agent market. Days after opting out of his contract with the Houston Rockets, Dwight is searching for a new home. After his four years with Houston didn’t go as many planned, Dwight is starting to get to that point in his career where his years are starting to count down. Looking for big money this offseason, here are some potential landing spots for the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Dallas has been linked to Howard for quite some time now. They were a team that tried to sign him years ago before he went to the Rockets. The Mavs want to build a championship team around Dirk Nowitzki and win him another ring before he decides to call it a career. Dwight would complement Nowitzki well; a defensive big man to go along with the stretch four. He can be like what Tyson Chandler was years ago, except more athletic and maybe a little better defensively. Mark Cuban is always looking to bring in big-name free agents and Dwight could be the one he finally reels in.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers were a team that shocked the NBA last season. A team that was expected to be one of the worst in the league ended up making the playoffs. They’ll have some cap to work with this offseason and could possibly go after Howard. Since LaMarcus Aldridge left for the Spurs a year ago, Portland lacked that dominant big man and post presence. Howard would complement the duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum nicely. His defensive presence alone could help bring the Trail Blazers to the next level. Hopefully, Portland would use him more than Houston did this last season.
It was rumored that Dwight could potentially make a return to Orlando. The chances are very slim that Dwight returns to the team that drafted him first overall 12 years ago. His signing wouldn’t make too much sense since the Magic already have a solid, young center in Nikola Vucevic. He didn’t exactly go out on good terms, either. But regardless, this is a team rumored to be on Dwight’s radar. Plus, it would be cool seeing him back in a Magic jersey.
New York Knicks
With the recent addition of Derrick Rose, the Knicks may not be done trying to build a contending team in the East. The Knicks already formed their own big three in DRose, Carmelo Anthony, and Kristaps Porzingis. Since they included center Robin Lopez in the deal for Rose, they could be looking to add Dwight as a replacement, which would be an upgrade. This is a realistic big-name free agent signing for the Knicks. Adding Dwight could potentially make them contenders in the East, but we know what happened last time Dwight joined a “super team.” Dwight was interested in signing in New York before the Derrick Rose trade even happened, so it’ll be interesting to see how this trade influences his decision.
Atlanta is a realistic destination for Dwight since he is from Atlanta. This may not be an option if the Hawks keep Al Horford, who is an unrestricted free agent. If Horford decides to join another team, expect the Hawks to go after Howard to fill the spot Horford left. He’d help keep the Atlanta defense strong, as well as help improve the rebounding on the team. The Hawks are definitely looking to change the team up and made that known after trading Jeff Teague to the Pacers for a 1st round pick in a three-team trade. It’ll be interesting to see what the Hawks will look like next season, but it’s sure to be a different look team, and it could all start with Dwight.