Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard will spend his Fourth of July at a resort in Colorado or a remote ranch in Montana to decide whether to remain in Los Angeles next season or bolt for another team, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports.
Howard's agent, Happy Walters, tweeted Wednesday morning that Howard is in fact leaving with his camp for "some mountain air to clear the mind and make some decisions."
Frank Isola of New York Daily News tweeted Wednesday that Howard will be in Aspen and that the Lakers were not the favorites to sign him when he left Los Angeles Tuesday night after hosting a series of meetings this week with officials from the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors. Howard then met with the Lakers for their final pitch before boarding the flight.
According to Berger, league sources say if Montana is where Howard will make the decision, he will be not far from former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who is currently at his mountain home. As Berger points out, even if Howard is in Aspen, he will still be surrounded by L.A. folk, as "half of LA’s rich and famous — and a good portion of its rich and not-so-famous" vacation in Aspen for the Fourth.
As previously reported, the Rockets are making point guard Jeremy Lin and center Omer Asik available to clear enough cap space to not only sign Howard but also ink Hawks unrestricted free agent forward Josh Smith.
If in fact Howard is intent on making his decision over the long weekend, then next week could be when the league finds out which team will sign the seven-time all-star to his next contract. As ESPNs Adam Schefter tweeted Wednesday, however, the decision could come as early as Friday even though right now it's "totally up in air."
https://twitter.com/AdamSchefter/status/352488558528970753 GOLLIVER: NBA free agency 2013: Latest agreements, trades and rumors