With Dwight Howard widely expected to make some type of decision Friday, all the focus will surely be on him as he continues to ponder his future from a vacation spot in Aspen, Colo.
Howard has not eliminated any of the teams that presented him with pitches as of early Friday morning, but as we inch closer to a final decision, it’s likely that a team will be eliminated from contention soon.
The Houston Rockets, also known as the first team to meet with Howard, are still considered slight frontrunners due to their elaborate and convincing presentation, a source said. But the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Golden State Warriors are not far behind.
Theoretically, the Atlanta Hawks are also still in the Howard sweepstakes, but currently, the Hawks are perceived to be in last place on Howard’s list of preferred destinations.
Los Angeles felt a bit more optimistic after giving their presentation to Howard and his representatives, but have become more worried over the past 24 hours, according to a report from ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne.
Meanwhile, the Warriors have seemingly come out of nowhere and have emerged as serious contenders for Howard, sources told Crossover Chronicles. Golden State gave a stellar presentation that had Howard impressed with the direction of the franchise and the foundation ownership has established, sources close to Howard said. In fact, Howard “wouldn’t stop talking about” how impressive Golden State’s pitch was, one source close to Howard said.
In practice, the Lakers, Rockets, Mavericks, and Warriors are all in the same boat at this point. And this is where Howard’s indecisiveness may come into play again, as he may have trouble deciding between four, maybe five, decent options, unless he starts eliminating teams soon.
But Howard’s decision will not be one based on money, a source close to Howard said Friday morning. In fact, Howard has never really considered the $30 million he would be missing out on by leaving the Lakers as a relevant factor.
Nothing is concrete at this point, but it is safe to say that all eyes will be on Howard Friday, as a decision from the All-Star center is coming soon.