Dwight Howard Opting Out Of Contract With Houston Rockets

Dwight Howard opting out of his contract is now something that the Houston Rockets expect to happen for sure at the end of the season, according to USA Today. Team executives knew that it was a possibility when the season started because it made more financial sense for the six-foot, 11-inch center. However, with Howard growing increasingly unhappy with his partnership with scoring guard James Harden, the franchise now knows for sure that Dwight will be exploring NBA free agency once again.

From a financial standpoint, Dwight Howard should definitely opt out of his contract with the Houston Rockets. Since the salary cap in the NBA is rising tremendously after this season, players have an opportunity to earn more money than they did before. There was a slight bump last season, and mid level players received more money than fans were accustomed to seeing players of their stature being paid. Howard can be paid as much as $31.9 million next season. If he sticks to his current contract, then he will be paid $23.2 million.

Age is another reason why Dwight Howard should out of his contract. NBA players have been known to be productive after they turn 30. Howard, however, is a little bit different because he relies so much on his athleticism to produce in ball games. His athleticism and size are the reasons why he has been a perennial All-Star player. Dwight isn't like Houston Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon. Though he had plenty of athleticism, Olajuwon was able to be a dominant center because he was one of the most skilled players of all time. Howard doesn't have those skills to fall back on.

James Harden and Kobe Bryant
James Harden and Kobe Bryant [Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images]Championships are only won by one NBA team each year, so the window of opportunity for Dwight Howard is closing. If he doesn't like playing with James Harden and doesn't think that he can win a title with the Houston Rockets, then the 275-pound center needs to find a new home quickly. Free agency enables Howard to look at all the other teams and see which franchise would be a good fit for him. Teams like the Miami Heat and Washington Wizards are reportedly already interested in acquiring the veteran.

Though the Houston Rockets would not mind if Dwight Howard were to stick around, they also do not seem like they would be bending over backwards to keep him, either. The reason for that is because the team found themselves a late first round gem in the 2014 NBA Draft. Clint Capela has developed much sooner than the Rockets were expecting. The six-foot, 10-inch, 240-pound Swissman took over a starting forward spot, and it helped Houston turn the season around. Rockets coaches believe that the 21-year-old Capella might be even better at the center position that Howard currently owns.

Clint Capella
Clint Capella [Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]Dwight Howard opting out of his contract would also enable the Houston Rockets to build a different team around James Harden. With the NBA shifting over to smaller lineups, the team can clear the lane even more for their star guard. The Rockets can shift Clint Capella to center and insert an outside shooter at the other forward position. Harden is already scoring 29 points a game right now, but a smaller lineup could enable him to break past the 30 point mark.

There is something that might prevent Dwight Howard from opting out of his contract, though. The Georgia native can be a bit fragile emotionally. Fans already bashed him for walking away from the Orlando Magic. Los Angeles Lakers fans added on to the hate when Howard had enough of Kobe Bryant and wanted to leave that stressful situation. Howard might stick with the Houston Rockets to avoid more criticism.

Do you think Dwight Howard is doing the right thing by opting out of his contract?

[Featured Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]