Dwight Howard rumors now include the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs appear ready to pursue Howard in a big way during the NBA offseason. Adding Howard at center could certainly help make the Mavericks a true contender in the Western Conference again. A report from the Dallas Star-Telegram expounds upon these Howard rumors, discussing how it would be very expensive to lure him to the Mavs.
NBA analyst Dwain Price talks about how the Dallas Mavericks could also look into signing Pau Gasol or Hassan Whiteside if a pursuit of Dwight Howard doesn't prove successful. He touches on all the positive attributes that Howard could bring to the Mavs, including demanding a double team every time he touches the ball on offense. There are a number of negatives that come along with offering Howard a deal that Price also discusses.
"The negatives with Howard are many: He wants a long-term contract with an annual salary of around $30 million, he's a career 56.8 percent shooter from the free-throw line, and, according to his critics, he doesn't take the game seriously."The Mavericks are still in need of a center and have been since DeAndre Jordan decided to nix a deal he had with the team to go back to the Los Angeles Clippers. The team simply didn't have a low-post presence that can rival what Howard could do there if he was committed again. That's one of the questions that will surround him as he tries to find another long-term max contract during the NBA offseason.
There are a lot of Dwight Howard rumors that still haven't been officially addressed. At the top of that list is whether Howard is going to opt out of his contract with the Houston Rockets or play out the deal that he has in place. Many NBA analysts feel that he is about to test free agency again, but he still hasn't made that announcement to the Rockets or the media. After the Rockets got eliminated in the first round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs, it seems even less likely that he would want to play in Houston for another season.
Dwight Howard's contract calls for him to make about $23.3 million during the 2016-17 NBA season. It's up to him whether he stays in that deal, as the player option would certainly keep him among the highest-paid players in the game. By opting to go back on the free agent market, Howard could get a new max contract, guaranteeing that he makes more than $20 million a season for at least four more years. There are a number of teams that seem willing to pay him top dollar again.
While a lot of Dwight Howard rumors still talk about his commitment to playing and ask whether he actually cares about team success, his numbers for the 2015-16 NBA season were still quite good. In 71 games with the Houston Rockets (all starts), Howard averaged 13.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.6 blocks, and 1.0 steals per game. He ranked among the league leaders in rebounding again but was taking far fewer shots (8.5 per game) than at any point in his NBA career.
The upcoming NBA free agency period is going to be packed with big names from around the league. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Pau Gasol, and Mike Conley are just some of the names that teams will also be bidding on. It's still unclear just how many teams will be bidding on the services of Dwight Howard, but it has become an expectation that he is going to find a new franchise that will offer him that max deal. All NBA fans should prepare to hear a bevy of new rumors as free agency draws closer, with the Dallas Mavericks now at the top of the list of Howard suitors.
[Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images]