Of course, the biggest name on this list is Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard. Howard is regarded as the best center in the game by most basketball executives, coaches and fans. Howard can sign a four-year 87 million dollar contract with any team with the cap room other than the Lakers. The Lakers can go five years, 118 million to keep him. That extra year at 30 million is a good reason for Dwight to re-up with the purple and gold.
The Lakers pretty much have to offer Dwight the deal, because with Kobe Bryant’s career winding down, to lose Dwight would mean a total rebuild and probably a season similar to what the Orlando Magic went through this season. Those kinds of seasons are not acceptable in L.A. So Howard has the Lakers by the short hairs.
Will he sign with them? Good question. He may opt out. It is no secret he did not mesh with coach Mike D’Antoni or with Kobe. It is also no secret he is getting impatient, which is why he wanted out of Orlando. The constant pounding has injuries mounting up and it could be that he sees the down side of his career fast approaching. He needs to win soon.
With that being the case, do the Lakers want to invest their future in him? Will Dwight ever be the same player he was in Orlando? Or will the pounding he takes start taking its toll? This will continue to be the big story in this season’s fee agency.
Other bigs on the market include:
Dirk Nowitzki- We seriously doubt that Dirk signs anywhere but Dallas. He is Mr. Maverick and it is hard to imagine him in another uniform. A new deal with Dallas will get done and they will likely use Dirk to try and woo Dwight to Dallas.
Zaza Pachulia– He is coming off a torn Achilles which makes him a risk. But he is a skilled big man who can score which makes him a hot commodity. He will have a lot of teams interested.
Andray Blatche– Blatche is having a great playoffs with nearly 11 points and six rebounds per game. He will also have a lot of teams interested in perhaps making his a starting center. Right now he plays behind one of the best in Brook Lopez. The Heat would be a great place for him to end up.
Luol Deng- The Bulls star averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game this year. He will have teams interested in him but we think the Bulls will get him back. With the uncertainty surrounding Derrick Rose, they can ill afford to lose Deng now.
Greg Munroe- He is not well known mostly because the Detroit Pistons have been really bad the last few seasons. But he can play. He averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds per game this past year. the Philadelphia 76ers might be a good place for him to land if they have given up on Andrew Bynum ever playing there.
Andrew Bogut- Bogut has a lot of talent, but is injury plagued and has been for most of his career. A team with a good stating center might want him for a backup, such as the Nets if Blatche leaves.