The NBA’s top offseason decision has been made, as free agent Dwight Howard has told reporters that he’s going to sign with the Houston Rockets when eligible to do so on Wednesday, according to ESPN. Howard announced the decision on Twitter.
I've decided to become a member of the Houston Rockets. I feel its the best place for me and I am excited (cont) http://t.co/h8WK4yP3zB
— Dwight Howard (@DwightHoward) July 6, 2013
Howard’s decision came down to the Rockets giving him what he felt was his best opportunity to win an NBA title.
"[A championship is] the priority. That's the priority. [Shoot], I'm betting $30 million on it," Howard told ESPNLosAngeles.com in a phone interview Friday night, referencing the amount of money he likely will leave on the table by bolting Los Angeles for Houston. I just looked at both teams and I felt like Houston was going in one direction -- they got a lot of young players, they got a good coach in Kevin McHale and I just felt like having him as a coach, he could really help me in the post and help me develop like I want to. That was mainly the big reason right there, and having the opportunity to grow with a team, a young team, like the Rockets. That's the reason why [I decided to leave]."
In Houston, Howard joins fellow stars James Harden and Jeremy Lin. It remains to be determined if this is a championship combination. By electing against a sign-and-trade, the Los Angeles Lakers – Howard’s former team – open up a ton of cap space. Beyond the Lakers and Rockets, the Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks were also viewed as suitors for Howard.