After taking some time off from a disastrous season in Houston, Dwight Howard has decided to opt out of his $23 million dollar player option for next season.

According to reports, the Rockets brass attempted to convince Howard to stay, even if it was a long shot when hiring coach Mike D’antoni, whom Dwight previously played under but didn’t like.

Although Howard’s offensive role had been reduced on the team, his defense was always integral to any success the team had, rebounding and being one of the best rim protectors in the league.

Dwight Howard
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Howard stated in an interview with ESPN’s Jackie McMullan that Rockets GM Daryl Morey didn’t want him to have a bigger role offensively for the team, and that he felt at times he was disinterested because of the lack of involvement.

Howard is most likely looking for a max contract but may not get it. This is his last big contract, and while he can help a team win, he will have to alter his perception of importance for chemistry reasons.

He has stated he won’t rule out a return to Houston, but he just doesn’t feel it is the right place to make those kinds of sacrifices.

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