Fulfilling weeks of high-profile speculation, former Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard will sign with the Houston Rockets, according to a report broken by USA Today. Houston was speculated to be the front runner for Howard’s playing services in 2013.
Heading into free agency, Howard said he had narrowed down a list of potential teams to the Rockets, Golden State, Atlanta, Dallas and the Lakers, where he spent one season playing after beginning his career in Orlando. The former All-Star center will join his third team in three years.
After sharing touches and headlines with 15-time all star Kobe Bryant last season, Howard now becomes the biggest name on a Houston team that led the league in scoring last year. He teams up with former all star James Harden and rising star Chandler Parsons in Houston. The rest of the team’s make up, including point guard Jeremy Lin and last year’s starting center Omer Asik, is still up in the air.
The former three-time defensive player of the year will try to lead the Rockets to the team’s first title since winning back-to-back championships in 1994 and 1995. He advanced to the NBA Finals in 2009 with the Magic before losing to the Lakers in the championship round. With the Lakers last season, his team flirted around the .500 mark and earned the eighth and final spot in the post season before the Lakers were swept in the first round by eventual Western Conference champion San Antonio.