Knicks rumors about a Dwight Howard signing have enveloped the NBA. There are plenty of New York Knicks rumors about what the team might try to do through free agency, and signing Dwight Howard is just the latest development in the saga. A report from Sports Illustrated now states that Howard has interest in joining the Knicks. It’s not the first time that Howard has stated he wants to play in a new city, but it has many NBA fans in New York buzzing.
So can the New York Knicks really afford to sign Dwight Howard in free agency? As NBC Sports has reported before, the NBA salary cap for the 2016-17 season could get bumped up to $89 million. Currently, the Knicks have $64 million in salaries on the books for next year, but that number could drop during the offseason. Arron Afflalo has a player option for $8 million and Derrick Williams has a player option for about $4.6 million. If both players opt out of their contracts, the Knicks would suddenly have only $51.4 million in committed salaries.
The other important aspect of these New York Knicks rumors is whether the team would actually want to give Dwight Howard a long-term contract. Howard has played with three different NBA teams (Orlando Magic, L.A. Lakers, Houston Rockets) and each time his exit has been filled with drama. This offseason is no exception, as he is expected to opt out of his deal with Houston to try to find another new city. The Rockets had a chance to deal him at the NBA trade deadline, but decided to make a push for the playoffs instead.
During his third season with the Houston Rockets, Dwight Howard is averaging 14.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game. He is shooting 61 percent from the field and has continued to put up good individual numbers. During 164 starts since joining the Rockets, Howard has averaged 16.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. While he is now taking fewer shots, Howard continues to put up numbers that most NBA teams would love to have from a starting center.
There are going to be a lot of teams trying to sign Howard during the NBA offseason, so these latest New York Knicks rumors simply show that the franchise could be one possible suitor. Prior to a recent game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Howard also stated that he would have liked to play with the team. The Bucks could also have the funds available to sign him, as could the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, L.A. Lakers, Chicago Bulls, and Portland Trail Blazers. So where does Howard really want to play next year? That could remain a mystery until he signs.
Could a tandem of Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony work better than past duos involving the former All-Star center? Howard couldn’t make it work with Kobe Bryant and the L.A. Lakers and has done even worse with James Harden and the Houston Rockets. Many NBA analysts have weighed in with theories about why that has been the case, but the end result is lack of postseason success. In the updated NBA standings, the Rockets are back into the No. 8 seed, possibly setting up a first-round series with the Golden State Warriors.
NBA free agency for the upcoming offseason is likely to include Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Andre Drummond, DeMar DeRozan, Pau Gasol, Al Horford, Bradley Beal, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Mike Conley, and Hassan Whiteside. This predicts that there are going to be a lot of negotiations between players and teams and quite a few New York Knicks rumors about players that Phil Jackson may try to sign. The Knicks aren’t limited to just Howard, but if he really wants to come to New York, the job could get easier for Jackson.
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