The Dallas Mavericks may become the frontrunner to land Dwight Howard next summer if he is not traded to the Lakers or Nets and becomes a free agent instead, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Howard has said before he would like to test free agency next summer making this point even more impactful for Dallas. Howard does not want to sign an extension with any team he is traded to but would be willing to re-sign if it is the Lakers or Nets.
Dallas owner Mark Cuban broke up a championship team a year ago in hopes of being able to lure Howard and Deron Williams to Dallas in the near future. Cuban struck out with Williams who signed an extension with the Nets this summer and now will focus all of his attention on Howard next summer if he is available.
Orlando Magic GM Rob Hennigan met with Howard Wednesday to discuss his future. Howard made it very clear he does not want to remain part of the Magic organization saying he would “never sign another contract with the Magic,” according to RealGM.
Howard said he would like to either be traded to the Lakers soon, traded to Brooklyn in January or simply become a free agent after the season ends.
The Magic certainly want to get something back for Howard and all his drama and would prefer to trade him. The potential trade with the Lakers would involve the Cleveland Cavaliers as a third team. The Houston Rockets have also still not given up on trying to trade for Howard.
The Lakers would send Andrew Bynum to Cleveland in the potential trade. Bynum was rumored to be meeting with the Lakers to discuss a contract extension for himself but his agent has since denied any such meeting. Bynum seems to have been left in the dark as far as trade talks have gone which may be an indicator of how far away a deal is to be being done.
If somehow Howard is not traded and remains with the Magic for all of next season then the Mavericks will really have a chance to sign him in the summer. But if Howard is dealt to either the Lakers or Nets, we can fully expect him to stay with that team beyond next season.
The Rockets destination would be the only other scenario for Howard to get traded too then still test free agency in the summer. GM Daryl Morey is very willing to risk trading for Howard and convincing him to stay past one season despite Howard being open about not wanting to play there.
Talks about who would be the favorite to sign Howard next summer may be a bad sign for him getting moved anytime soon. Orlando has said they aren’t necessarily in a hurry to trade Howard but everyone knows they’d love to rid themselves of Dwight’s drama as soon as possible.