Multiple media outlets reported that Dwight Howard agreed to join the Houston Rockets, but in a curious twist, his agent denied a deal was done and the Lakers still had not been told of Howard’s decision as of late Friday afternoon.
USA Today Sports broke the intial story that Howard would sign a four-year, $88-million deal with the Rockets, leaving the Lakers after only one season. ESPN and Yahoo! Sports followed it up with confirmations.
Howard was leaning strongly toward the Rockets earlier Friday but hesitated because of the “enormous financial implications” he would lose by going to Houston, even though the state of Texas offers more favorable tax scenarios.
Howard, 27, could sign for five years and $118 million with the Lakers or four years and $88 million with anybody else.
“He hasn’t finalized his decision but we hope and expect him to make a decision today or tomorrow,” said Dan Fegan, Howard’s agent.
Howard was on a plane from Colorado to Los Angeles as of 4:30 p.m. and planned to talk with Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak later today.
Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey said on Twitter that the Rockets were “excited and cautiously optimistic” but added they had not received a final answer from Howard.
Howard narrowed down his choices Friday to the Lakers and Rockets after also meeting with Dallas, Atlanta and Golden State.