Dwight Howard opts out of Rockets contract, becomes free agent
Rockets center Dwight Howard has opted out of his contract, the team announced Tuesday.
Howard turned down his $23.2 million player option for 2016-17 and will be a free agent when the new league year begins on July 1.
Howard, 30, averaged 13.7 points and 11.8 rebounds last season for the Rockets, who disappointed and went 41–41 after a trip to the Western Conference finals in 2015. He reportedly clashed with star teammate James Harden at times, and Houston exited in the first round, falling to the Golden State Warriors.
Although Howard has averaged a double-double in each of his 12 NBA seasons, questions about lingering back injuries and the end of his physical prime have decreased his value somewhat. He signed with Houston as a free agent in 2013.