Dwight Howard’s Free Agency Watch Begins As Soon As NBA Lockout Ends

Two years ago, everyone watched and wondered where LeBron James would end up after his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers expired. Last season, it was Carmelo Anthony who attracted regular headlines before the Nuggets granted 'Melo his wish and traded him to New York.

It did not take long, after a tentative agreement to end the NBA lockout was reportedly reached early Saturday, for media and fans notice that another superstar player is now on the clock.

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard can become a free agent at the end of the 2011-12 season, and the storyline will sound familiar. As with James in Cleveland and Anthony in Denver, there's uncertainty a small market such as Orlando can afford one of the most dominant players in the NBA.

Unlike James and Anthony, Howard has insisted he doesn't want to talk about his contract situation or let it become a distraction.

"Well, that's 2012," Howard told the Orlando Sentinel at an appearance earlier this month. "Everybody's worrying about the wrong stuff."

He has declined to commit to re-signing with the Magic, however, which would eliminate the speculation entirely.

"The biggest thing for me is taking advantage of every opportunity that I have in front of me, and that's how anybody should look at it," Howard said at the same appearance. "I'm 25 and I have a full life ahead of me, God willing, and I have to do what's best for me, and that's it."

Welcome back, NBA. It's like you never left.

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Dwight Howard's Free Agency Watch Begins As Soon As NBA Lockout Ends

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Dwight Howard's Free Agency Watch Begins As Soon As NBA Lockout Ends

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