NBA free agency: Dwight Howard heading home to Atlanta, Al Horford leaving for Boston

NBA free agency: Dwight Howard heading home to Atlanta, Al Horford leaving for Boston
Center Dwight Howard doesn't like being called for a foul during a game last season against Atlanta. (John Bazemore / Associated Press)

While many of the top NBA free agents not named Kevin Durant have agreed to contracts that will keep them in their home markets, there was some movement in the Hawks' frontcourt as Al Horford is leaving to join the Boston Celtics and center Dwight Howard is headed home to Atlanta, according to multiple reports.

Horford leaves the team that drafted him after nine years after he agreed to a four-year, $113-million deal with the Celtics. He broadcast his decision on Twitter with the message "Celtic Pride" followed by 18 shamrocks, possibly representing the 17 NBA championships Boston has won and the one he hopes to bring to the city.


The four-time All-Star averaged 15.2 points and 7.3 rebounds last season. He gives the Celtics a formidable presence on both ends of the floor as they try to vault into the top tier of the East.

Howard, who averaged 13.7 points and 11.8 rebounds with the offense-minded Rockets, agreed to a three-year deal worth $70.5 million. The Hawks also re-signed swingman Kent Bazemore for $70 million over four years.

The Rockets, meanwhile, have reportedly agreed to terms with Ryan Anderson, a power forward who is a long-range shooter, on $80-million contract over four years. The 28-year-old Anderson spent the last four seasons in New Orleans. He averaged 17 points and six rebounds a game last season.

Players can not officially sign their contracts until July 7.

Center Joakim Noah is also on the move as he is set to join the Chicago Bulls East, otherwise known as the New York Knicks.

In New York, Noah will be reunited with former teammate Derrick Rose, whom the Knicks acquired via trade last week.

Noah, 31, has averaged 9.3 points and 9.4 rebounds with 3.0 assists per game over nine seasons in Chicago. He and the Knicks are reportedly closing in on a four-year deal worth $72 million.

Also headed to the state of New York is Jeremy Lin, but not with the Knicks, where he became an unlikely phenomenon during the 2011-12 season.

After going undrafted out of Harvard in 2010 and failing to catch on with the Golden State Warriors, who signed him to his first pro contracts, 'Linsanity' ran wild in New York.

Over a 25-game stretch as a starter, Lin averaged 18.2 points with 7.7 assists and collected seven double-doubles after playing essentially zero minutes previously.

Since then, Lin has spent time with the Houston Rockets, Lakers and most recently the Charlotte Hornets, where he registered 11.7 points with 3.0 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game last season.

Lin and the Brooklyn Nets have reportedly agreed to a three-year pact worth $36 million.

Meanwhile, shooting guard DeMar DeRozan has reportedly agreed to terms on a five-year deal to return to Toronto, where he helped lead the Raptors to the Eastern Conference finals last season.

DeRozan, 26, was selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2009 draft by the Raptors out of USC. DeRozan put together an All-Star season last year, averaging  23.5 points per game.


Heat big man Hassan Whiteside also isn't going anywhere despite making the claim that he was just a "businessman that plays basketball" and willing to move.

Either business is good in Miami, which missed the Eastern Conference finals last year for the second time since 2011, or his bluff worked. Whiteside, 27, is expected to sign a four-year deal worth $98 million.

Whiteside (14.2 points with 11.2 rebounds per game last season) has emerged as one of the league's better big men over the last two years while filling in for the injured Chris Bosh.

Forward Nicolas Batum, 27, has reportedly agreed to terms on a five-year deal worth $120 million with the Hornets, where he played last season after being traded away by the Portland Trail Blazers.

In Charlotte, Batum was good for 14.9 points with 5.8 assists per game, both career highs.

Andre Drummond, 22, is expected to receive his max contract from the Pistons, a five-year deal worth $125 million, after putting up 16.2 points with an NBA-best 14.8 rebounds per game last season.

Chandler Parsons, who found himself at the center of the emojii war to lure DeAndre Jordan to the Dallas Mavericks last summer, will reportedly join the Memphis Grizzlies on a four-year deal worth around $94 million. Parsons suffered season-ending knee injuries in each of the last two seasons in Dallas.

The Grizzlies will be holding onto point guard Mike Conley, who averaged 15.1 points with 6.1 assists last season. He reportedly agreed to a deal worth $153 million over five years.

Or more simply: "Car emoji + bear emoji = cash emoji!!!!!"

When healthy, Parsons averaged better than 13.7 points with 4.8 rebounds for the Mavericks. He spent the first three years of his career with the Houston Rockets.

Matthew Dellavedova might not return to the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers next season after reportedly agreeing to a four-year, $38-million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks. Since Dellavedova is a restricted free agent, the Cavaliers will have an opportunity to match the Bucks' offer.

The guard rose to prominence during the 2015 NBA Finals when he was called upon to start for the injured Kyrie Irving.

Dellavedova produced 7.5 points with 4.4 assists off the bench for the Cavaliers last season in just under 27 minutes per game.

Bradley Beal is also expected to work out a five-year deal with the Washington Wizards today worth around $130 million.

Al Jefferson is on his way to Indiana after agreeing to a three-year, $30-million deal with the Pacers. The 31-year-old center's numbers have tapered off a bit in recent years, but he still managed to post 12 points and 6.4 rebounds per game primarily off of the bench last year in an injury-shortened 47 games.

The Philadelphia 76ers and guard Jerryd Bayless have reportedly reached an agreement on a three-year, $27-million contract. Bayless, 27, will join his seventh team in eight years after putting up 10.4 points with 3.1 assists per game for the Bucks last season.

Evan Turner is moving from the Boston Garden to the Rose Garden, even though both arena's no longer go by those names. Turner has reportedly agreed to a four-year deal worth $70 million with the Trail Blazers.

Last season, Turner came off the bench to produce 10.2 points with 4.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game for an overachieving Celtics team, which pushed the Atlanta Hawks to six games in the opening round of the playoffs.

Best available

Reigning NBA Finals MVP LeBron James and Durant remain the top available free agents, though James is expected to re-sign with his hometown team the Cavaliers while KD is taking meetings in the Hamptons with the Golden State Warriors, Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.


Durant already met with the Thunder, who are presumed favorites to retain the seven-time NBA All-Star.

Heat guard Dwyane Wade (19 points with 4.6 assists) also remains unaccounted for so far.

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme

The Associated Press contributed to this report