Dwight Howard doesn't officially become an unrestricted free agent until 12:01 a.m. ET on July 1. But the "intrigue" has already begun.
Although Kobe Bryant spoke about bringing back the current group of Lakers players and L.A. GM Mitch Kupchak said he was "optimistic" about Howard returning during exit interviews in April, the 27-year-old center is considering his options.
Citing league sources and "multiple people briefed on internal conversations" about Howard's impending free agency, Ken Berger of CBS Sports reported on Sunday that the Houston Rockets "intrigue him the most" and that the Dallas Mavericks are another team of interest to seven-time All-Star.
After the Lakers' season ended with a four-game sweep by the Spurs, Howard made it clear that he was going to consider his options and do what was in his best self interest.
"I want to get away from everything and focus on me and making the decision for me, and that's not happening today," Howard said. "I'm just going to get away, and I don't think that I should get pressured by anybody to make a decision because this decision is for myself and myself only, and making a decision like this, you don't want to make it off emotions. You don't want to make it off what other people are saying."
If Howard's recent history is any indicator, plenty of other people will be saying plenty about his potential destination as the summer drags on.