Independence Day has passed, and free agent center Dwight Howard is still mulling his decision on where to sign this offseason. His former team, the Los Angeles Lakers, can pay him the most, but sources tell Marc Stein and Ramona Shelbourne that the club could have fallen to as low as Howard’s fourth choice. Bracing for the worst-possible outcome, the Lakers are now reportedly considering a sign-and-trade involving Howard.
From the beginning, the Lakers have said that they’re not looking into a sign-and-trade with Howard. If he ultimately chooses not to return, Los Angeles previously appeared content cutting its losses by holding onto the extra salary cap space and saving money on the luxury tax.
With Howard now seriously considering leaving LA for another team, the Lakers are reportedly considering a sign-and-trade as a legitimate option. In this way Howard could receive his max deal, the Lakers could get something in return for the big man, and the acquiring team will land the center they’ve coveted.
At this point, Howard is still deciding where to sign. His options appear to be narrowed to five teams; the Lakers, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks.