Dwight Howard leaves Los Angeles Lakers for Houston Rockets
“I’ve decided to become a member of the Houston Rockets. I feel (it’s) the best place for me and I am excited about joining the Rockets and I’m looking forward to a great season,” Howard wrote on Twitter on Friday night.
“I want to thank the fans in Los Angeles and wish them the best.”
D12 is set to sign a four-year deal worth $88 million with the Rockets as compared to the five-year deal worth $118 million the Lakers put on their table.
Howard will team up with 23-year-old guard James Harden as the Rockets look set to become contenders in the Eastern Conference once again.
“Years of work by Dwight & Rockets went into this. This team is going to be special,” general manager Daryl Morey tweeted.
The Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and home-town team Atlanta Hawks were the other suitors interested in Howard.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak released a statement which read: “Naturally we’re disappointed.
“However, we will now move forward in a different direction with the future of the franchise and, as always, will do our best to build the best team possible, one our great Lakers fans will be proud to support.
“To Dwight, we thank him for his time and consideration and for his efforts with us last season. We wish him the best of luck on the remainder of his NBA career.”
Howard averaged 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds in 76 games in his only season with the 16-time Champions as they struggled to make the playoffs and crashed out to eventual runners-up San Antonio Spurs in a Round 1 sweep.