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NBA Roundup: Howard may be ready to bolt Lakers

The SportsXchange

The chances of Dwight Howard remaining with the Los Angeles Lakers are low, according to an ESPN.com report.

Howard is reportedly seeking a coach and system that fits his skill set, and appears willing to pass on the additional $30 million the Lakers can pay, a source told the web site. LA can propose a five-year, $118 million deal, while other teams must stop at $88 million over four seasons.

Howard, 27, plans to meet with the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks before meeting with the Lakers, the report said. Teams can contact free agents starting July 1.

Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni's system is a major issue for Howard, and he wishes not to be the sidekick to superstar Kobe Bryant, a source said.

---The Boston Celtics, a team staring at a rebuilding process, are discussing a deal that would send veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the New Jersey Nets, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.

Garnett has a no-trade clause, so packaging him with Pierce might increase the chances of Garnett approving a trade to a contender, Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski wrote. The deal being discussed with the Nets could include at least five players and three first-round draft picks still to-be-determined.

Such a deal is complicated with many moving parts, including the Garnett factor. He was reportedly willing to agree to go to the Clippers with Rivers, but it was unclear how willing he is about heading to Brooklyn with Pierce to play for new Nets head coach Jason Kidd.

---Lawrence Frank will join the staff of new Brooklyn Nets' head coach Jason Kidd as his lead assistant coach, a league source told ESPNNewYork.com.

Frank coached Kidd during most of his time with the Nets from 2003-08. Kidd wanted an experienced assistant to help him transition to head coach, and has actively recruited Frank.

Frank returns to the Nets after being fired by the Detroit Pistons after the regular season. Kidd, 40, retired as a player earlier this month and quickly accepted the Nets head coaching job.
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