Dwight Howard can officially sign his next NBA contract on July 10. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
This summer's most-sought-after NBA free agent reportedly will not drag out the drama when it comes to announcing which team he'll play for next. A source close to Dwight Howard told ESPN Los Angeles Howard will be ready to choose and announce his free agent destination on July 10.
Speculation on Howard's destination will continue until July 10, the first day NBA free agents can officially sign or re-sign with a team.
SI WIRE: Garnett waives no-trade clause, completing Nets-Celtics trade
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told ESPN he remains optimistic despite reports that Howard is unlikely to re-sign with the team.
From ESPN Los Angeles:
"I think the word I've used is 'optimistic,'" Kupchak said Thursday night after emerging from the Lakers' war room following the NBA draft. "I think I'm optimistic. I understand that there's a possibility (Howard) won't (re-sign), and I probably don't have any more information than anybody in this room does. I'm aware of a lot of the stuff that's flying back and forth, a lot of the rumors, so there's a realistic possibility that he won't be back. But I'm optimistic that he will."
The Lakers unveiled a billboard campaign Wednesday in an effort to sway Howard's mind.
Howard has been linked to having interest in signing with the Hawks, Mavericks and Rockets.
SI Now: Will Dwight Howard re-sign with the Lakers?
On Thursday's SI Now, Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix and Richard Dietsch
discuss Dwight Howard
's current free agency and whether or not he will re-sign with
the Los Angeles Lakers