NBA GM Reportedly Thinks Dwight Howard Could Leave L.A for Mavs, Hawks

The Los Angeles Lakers have to be in the lead to re-sign Dwight Howard this offseason, but it seems as if the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks could be in the mix, if an anonymous Western Conference GM is to be believed, according to

While he has talked about staying with the Lakers past this season, we all know what it means when Howard gets talking about where he's going to be playing. We've been through this before, and him leaving LA wouldn't be the most surprising thing we've seen from him over the course of the past year.

Financially, it seems impossible that Howard would leave the Lakers. He's going to sign a maximum contract wherever he goes, and the difference between re-signing with the Lakers and signing on an open market is huge.

In Los Angeles, Howard could sign a five-year deal with a 7.5 percent raise each season, starting at just more than  $20.5 million next season, totaling just less than $120 million.

Signing as a free agent elsewhere would mean a maximum of four years with 4.5 percent annual raises. That would net him just less than $90 million, roughly $30 million less than what he would get by staying in Los Angeles.

When the Lakers traded for Howard, it wasn't looked at as much of a gamble, as he seemed to be in the best place possible for his situation.

Howard gets to spend his time behind Kobe Bryant, learning what it means to be a superstar and the leader in one of the media centers of the NBA, while raking in boatloads of money.

His original desired destination, the Brooklyn Nets, had murdered their cap space by trading for Joe Johnson, and the alternative options seemed to pale in comparison to the Lakers, who suddenly were one of the league's best teams.

The Lakers were on pace (with the superstar lineup they had put together) to fight for a championship over the course of the next three seasons, and Howard should have bee...

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