Howard leaves long-time agent

In what could be considered a risky upheaval for such a crucial time of the season, Dwight Howard(notes) has left his long-time agent, Aaron Goodwin, multiple sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Howard’s next move is unclear, although sources say he planned to lean more toward letting some extended family and friends manage his business.

Cleveland’s LeBron James(notes) left Goodwin in 2005 with a similar plan.

Goodwin had helped to turn Howard’s gregarious and good-natured way into marketing gold. He constructed an impressive platform of endorsements for Howard, including a believed $6 million-$7 million annual shoe deal with Adidas and major national campaigns with McDonald’s, T-Mobile, Gatorade and others. No NBA player is believed to have as many major sponsors.

Goodwin, a Seattle-based agent, had been Howard’s representative since Howard’s arrival as the No. 1 overall pick in 2004 out of high school.

Howard, 24, has won consecutive NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards and is a four-time All-Star. He led the NBA in rebounds (13.2) and blocks (2.78) this season.

Goodwin represents a dozen NBA players, including Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant(notes).