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Report: Howard unlikely to stay with 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.

Houston players James Harden and Chandler Parsons are both believed to be heavily recruiting Howard, but the Rockets would have to convince him that their style of play is more applicable to his skills. The Mavericks could present an attractive landing spot if they can create enough cap room to offer a maximum-salaried contract, the report said.

Howard's hometown of Atlanta is a long shot. Another option for Howard is to work out a sign-and-trade deal to play alongside Chris Paul with the Los Angeles Clippers, though the Lakers are highly unlikely to agree to such a move, sources told ESPN.com.
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