The NBA free agency period will begin on Monday, and it may not take star center Dwight Howard much longer than that to choose his next team. A source close to Howard told Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles that the pending free agent expects to be ready to choose who he’ll be playing for the 2013-14 season and beyond as soon as the NBA’s moratorium on new business is lifted on July 10.
For his part, Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is optimistic about the team’s chances of re-signing Howard.
"The word I've used is 'optimistic,'" Kupchak said Thursday night after emerging from the Lakers' war room following the NBA draft. "I think I'm optimistic. I understand that there's a possibility [Howard] won't [re-sign], and I probably don't have any more information than anybody in this room does. I'm aware of a lot of the stuff that's flying back and forth, a lot of the rumors, so there's a realistic possibility that he won't be back. But I'm optimistic that he will."
Beyond the Lakers, there are several other teams viewed as potential suitors for Howard. While Los Angeles can pay him the most, the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks are two teams that are also considered possible landing spots for Howard.