Dwight Howard.

Dwight Howard says he is yet to decide on his future with the Houston Rockets

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Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard says he has not made a decision on whether he will re-sign with the franchise this summer. 

The big man, who has been in Houston for the past three seasons, has a player option for the 2016-17 campaign but can opt out and become an unrestricted free agent. 

It is widely expected that Howard will not pick up the option as he looks for a max contract which could earn him up to $30 million a year.  

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The 30-year-old didn't have the best of years with the Rockets where he averaged career-lows of 13.7 points, 11. 8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks a game. 

Despite securing a playoff spot on the final day of the regular season, the team was eliminated in the first round by the Golden State Warriors.

Following the series, the future of Howard was one of the main talking points but the eight-time All-Star is still undecided on what he wants to do. 

Minnesota Timberwolves v Houston Rockets

"I haven't made any decision," Howard said in an interview on Inside the NBA on Tuesday night. "My job is to get in the gym and work my butt off."


Howard's appearance on the popular NBA show - filling in for Shaquille O'Neal - allowed Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith the chance to finally address some interesting talking points as he has been a topic of conversation on the show for many years. 

Barkley, in particular, was keen to get answers to some specific issues, including Howard's tendencies to look disinterested in games, to which the three-time Defensive Player of the Year answered in depth.

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets

"I'm always interested in winning," he said. "But as a big, you want to feel a part of what's going on, and you know, if I could bring the ball up the court, shoot 3s and go between the legs, do all that stuff, that'd be great.

"But I have to rely on my teammates in certain aspects to get the ball. Now there have been times I have been upset and I've taken myself out of the game in certain situations, and that's on me.

"And I have to grow and became a better player. So I'm always interested in the game, and I've had the problem with smiling too much or I play too much on the floor, so when I'm not smiling and all that stuff, it looks like I'm not interested in the game. So it's like a thin line, and I'm like, 'Man, do I not smile? Or do I smile and have fun?' So that's always been a struggle for me personally."

Another question put to the former Orlando Magic star was whether he and James Harden could co-exist on the same team if he decided to remain in Houston.

He replied: "I think we can. I believe we can but both of us have to put our egos and our pride to the side and say hey we need each other to win."

It was certainly refreshing and admirable to see the center speak openly in public in the face of some tough questions by Barkley which showed the big man in a different light. 

Despite one of his worst campaigns, though, Howard remains one of the league's best defenders and rebounders and will command strong interest on the open market.

Western Conference
Houston Rockets
Southwest Division
Dwight Howard
James Harden

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