Kobe Bryant to retire:

Howard changes mind, Lakers still in running

The SportsXchange

The Dwight Howard saga, which looked like it had come to a conclusion on Friday afternoon, took another twist and shocking turn Friday night.

Howard apparently had decided to bolt Los Angeles for the Houston Rockets -- at least according to numerous reports.

But on Friday night, Howard told the Los Angeles Lakers that he had changed his mind and is not totally committed to signing with the Rockets.

According to a source via ESPN, Howard told the Lakers he is "50-50" on re-signing with Los Angeles or taking his talents to Houston.

Howard is having second thoughts about leaving about $30 million on the table by signing with the Rockets.

"He changed his mind," the source said. "Hey, he's Dwight. What can you say."

It's hard to walk away from $30 million," the source said. "Harder than we thought."

Howard can sign a $118 million, five-year deal with the Lakers, while other suitors, such as the Rockets, can only offer a four-year, $88 million deal.

"He said he'll make his decision either later (Friday night) or early Saturday morning," the source said.

Earlier on Friday, Howard has told four of the five teams he was considering that they were no longer in the running and he would not be signing with them, according to ESPN.com. That left Houston as the winner of the Howard free-agent sweepstakes.

The highly coveted center told the Los Angeles Lakers that he would not be returning after just one season with the team, though the Lakers would not confirm they were out, ESPN reported.

Howard reportedly had been in Aspen, Colo., the past few days with his advisers discussing his options before returning to Los Angeles on Friday night.

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