Dwight Howard will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, increasing the number of possible big men to be pursued by the Portland Trail Blazers. The news was first reported by Shams Charania on Twitter.
The Vertical Sources: Houston Rockets star Dwight Howard has declined his $23.2 million player option for 2016-'17, enters free agency.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 21, 2016
Despite reaching the Western Conference Finals with the Rockets just one year ago, Howard and teammate James Harden collapsed into acrimony and a 41-41 record. This marked the end of Howard's 12th season as a pro. The 30-year-old center spent 8 years with the Orlando Magic before joining the Los Angeles Lakers for a single tumultuous season, then departing to Houston for a 3-year stint.
Howard holds career averages of 17.8 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game on 58.2% shooting from the field. Last year he averaged 13.7ppg, 11.8 rpg, and 1.6 bpg on 62% shooting.
Howard's name has been linked with several NBA teams in free agency, including the Portland Trail Blazers.