NBA: Where will Dwight Howard end up?
Dwight Howard may be the hottest property in free agency this summer, but which franchise will snap the basketball superstar up?
Dwight 'Superman' Howard has decided to explore free agency this summer as teams line up to secure his services.
The 6"11 center is reported to have already set up meetings with five teams, which will take place over the next few days.
Howard has said that he will announce his decision at a press conference on July 10, but which team he will choose is up to debate for now.
His options are the Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and even staying with the LA Lakers.
The Hawks over the past few months have emerged as favourites for Howard's signature as they planned on creating their own "Big 3" by luring Superman and Chris Paul to the Phillips Stadium to team up with current power forward Al Horford.
However, Chris Paul has seemingly rejected these claims in favour of staying with the LA Clippers and new head coach Doc Rivers.
This is a huge dent to their chances of bringing Howard back to his home town as without Paul, the Georgia franchise don't look like real contenders next season.
The Mavericks are a very interesting proposition for Howard to consider, as on the court he would be teaming up with Dirk Nowitzki, one of the best power forwards in the NBA.
The power forward and center partnership is key and this combination could prove deadly next season if Howard ends up in Dallas.
The Golden State Warriors were last season's up-and-coming team, with Steph Curry especially standing out.
The salary cap may be an issue in their bid to sign Howard as they have several high paid players - in the form of Andrew Bogut, Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins - that don't come off the books until next summer. However, they could still sign Howard through a trade deal if they are able to put forward the right proposal to the Lakers.
The Lakers haven't lost Howard yet, despite the center opting for free agency.
While last season was a poor one for the LA franchise, it's clear that they have a set up and a team with an abundance of talent, not to mention a 15-time all star in Kobe Bryant.
Another important factor very much in their favour is finances. They are able to offer Howard $118 million over five years, while other franchises are only able to offer a maximum of $88 million over four years.
The Rockets are mounting a huge bid to bring Howard to Houston, putting together a panel of current players, coaches and Rockets board members and former player Hakim Olajuwon, who also played center.
They tried to lure Howard to Texas last season, but were unsuccessful. This season though, they are in a much better position largely thanks to the development of the team's current star James Harden.
They can offer a better core of players than the Hawks and Mavericks and will be the first team to meet the big center once free agency begins.
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