Eyes on Howard when NBA free agency opens

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 29, 2013 at 7:34 pm •  Published: June 29, 2013
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Dwight Howard could leave, Chris Paul is expected to stay, and plenty more will happen beyond Los Angeles when the NBA's free agency period opens.

Frontcourt players such as Josh Smith, David West, Andrew Bynum and Al Jefferson also can become free agents Monday at midnight EDT.

Howard heads the class after spending one largely unhappy season with the Lakers. They would like him back and can outspend other suitors by about $30 million, according to NBA rules, but teams such as Houston, Dallas and Atlanta will try to persuade him to take less money for more enjoyment.

He didn't fit right in Mike D'Antoni's offense and could end up with his third home in less than a year, having been dealt from Orlando to Los Angeles just last August.

Bynum was in that deal, too, going from the Lakers to Philadelphia in what was a four-team trade. He sat out all season because of knee problems and could leave without ever playing a game for the 76ers.

The Clippers are much happier with Paul, and he has plenty of reasons to stay in Los Angeles. The Clippers won their first Pacific Division title last season and will be coached now by Doc Rivers, who headed across the country after the Clippers sent a future first-round draft pick to Boston to let him out of his contract.

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