New reports have confirmed that Dwight Howard has opted out of his player option with the Houston Rockets for next season. Because of this, he is expected to become an unrestricted free agent next month.
According to ESPN, although the Rockets tried to convince Howard to stay with the team, it seems financial issues became one of the reasons that made the center want to test the free agency waters.
As noted in the report, he is expected to make $23.2 million through the player option. However, that figure is a bit too much for Houston, which is why if Howard decides to re-sign with the team, it will only probably happen if he accepts a salary cut.
With him off the roster, the Rockets will gain around $45 million in cap space, which the team could then use to sign other free agents once the market opens on July 1.
But, as detailed in previous reports, money is probably not the only issue between Howard and the Rockets. It has been rumored for some time now that the athlete is not happy with his status with the team. Specifically, he's not happy with his reduced role during the games.
"If I could bring the ball up the court, go between the legs and shoot threes? That's be great, but I have to rely on my teammates in certain aspects to get the ball," he said according to CBS Sports. "Now there are times when I've been upset and taken myself out of games and situations and that's on me."
"I have to grow and be a better player than that," he continued.
For now, there are no official reports yet as to which team Howard will probably end up in for the 2016-2017 NBA season. But, as suggested by various rumors, he would make a great member of the Dallas Mavericks.
As noted by Sports Day, the Mavs have already tried to sign Howard before but weren't able to do so. They will probably try to do this again now that he's a free agent because he's a great addition to the team's offensive and defensive plays.