NBA Roundup: Howard deal worth $88 million, Gasol moves to center for Lakers

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets agreed to a four-year, $88 million deal that is set to be signed on Wednesday, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Howard decided to choose the Rockets on Friday and the two parties worked out an agreement Saturday. The deal can be officially signed on Wednesday, per NBA transaction rules.
The contract is the maximum allowable that the Rockets can offer.
The deal also reportedly includes an early termination option after the 2015-16 season, meaning Howard can be a free agent again in three years.
Howard, 27, spent just one year with the Los Angeles Lakers before opting out of his contract to become a free agent this summer.

---Losing Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets allows the Los Angeles Lakers to move power forward Pau Gasol to center, where he is a better fit for coach Mike D'Antoni's fast-paced offensive system.
It also means talk of using the one-time amnesty provision on Gasol has ended, ESPN Los Angeles reported. Instead, the Lakers will consider other options to release a player without the salary counting toward the cap.
Gasol played center for the Lakers in 2009 when they beat Howard and the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals.
If Gasol does move back over to center, the Lakers have to figure out who will take over at power forward. Metta World Peace, Jordan Hill and rookie Ryan Kelly appear to be the candidates to fill that role.
If Howard had decided to remain with the Lakers, it was a possibility that the Lakers would have used the amnesty provision on Gasol, who is due more than $19 million this season.
Gasol did not fit into D'Antoni's system at power forward and was often used as the sixth man.
To help get out of the luxury tax, the Lakers could still use the amnesty provision on Kobe Bryant, Steve Blake or World Peace. While no decision has been made, World Peace is the most likely candidate, according to ESPN Los Angeles.

---Since the Dallas Mavericks were unable to land free agent center Dwight Howard, they are turning their attention to Andrew Bynum.
ESPN reported that the Mavericks are serious about Bynum, who was out all last season after having knee surgery. Bynum went from the Lakers to the Philadelphia 76ers as part of the four-team trade that sent Howard to the Lakers.
Bynum did not play a game for the Sixers and is a free agent.
The ESPN report stated that the Mavericks will evaluate Bynum very carefully before making a decision about him. Bynum is not holding workouts for interested teams but is providing MRI results and medical reports.
Bynum has averaged 11.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 392 career NBA games.

---The Detroit Pistons agreed to a four-year, $56 million contract with free-agent forward Josh Smith, reported.
Smith also considered the Houston Rockets and staying with the Atlanta Hawks. Smith played for the Hawks for nine years. He averaged 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists last season.

---The Cleveland Cavaliers agreed on a four-year contract that could reach $25 million with free agent point guard Jarrett Jack, ESPN reported Saturday.
The team holds an option on the fourth year of the deal.
Jack averaged 12.9 points and 5.6 assists last season for the Golden State Warriors. After signing free agent shooting guard Andre Iguodala on Friday, the Warriors renounced their rights to Jack.
Jack was a third guard with the Warriors behind Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. He will likely serve in a similar capacity with the Cavs, who have All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving and 2012 first-round draft pick Dion Waiters.

---The Portland Trail Blazers agreed to a two-year, $6 million deal with free agent forward Dorell Wright, according to multiple reports.
Wright averaged 9.2 points on 39.6 percent shooting last season for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Wright, an eight-year veteran, had his best season with the Golden State Warriors in 2010-11 when her averaging a career-high 16.4 points per game.
The Oklahoma City Thunder were also reportedly very interested in Wright.

---The Brooklyn Nets agreed to a three-year, $2.5 million deal with 2011 second round pick Bojan Bogdanovic, according to multiple reports. Bogdanovic, a Croatian small forward, will sign the contract on Wednesday when transactions can be made official.
The contract includes a player option for the third year. The Nets used most of their mid-level exception to secure Bogdanovic. They are still way over the luxury tax threshold due to their blockbuster deal with the Boston Celtics that gave them veterans Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry.
Bogdanovic became an option for the Nets after they were turned down by shooter Kyle Korver, who decided to stay with the Atlanta Hawks for four-years and $24 million.
Bogdanovic, 24, averaged 15.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists and shot 48.9 percent from the field, including and 40.5 percent from 3-point range for Turkey's Fenerbahce Ulker in the Euroleague.
The Nets drafted him No. 31 overall in 2011.

---The Indiana Pacers agreed to a two-year, $6.1 million offer sheet with free agent forward Chris Copeland, Yahoo! Sports reported.
Copeland is a restricted free agent, but the Knicks were not able to match the Pacers offer sheet.
Copeland, 29, averaged 8.7 points and 2.1 rebounds and shot 42.1 percent from 3-point range last season for the Knicks.

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