NBA free agency preview: A look at the storylines

Here's a look at some of the major storylines to watch during this summer's NBA free-agency period.

Dwight Howard's future

The Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks will make major pushes to land the all-star center.

The Rockets might have the best chance because they have a young star on the rise — shooting guard James Harden — and lots of capable role players, including Lake Howell High and UF alumnus Chandler Parsons. The Rockets also will involve Hakeem Olajuwon, their former center and Howard's friend, in their recruiting efforts.

The Lakers are the only team that can offer Howard a five-year deal with 7.5 percent annual raises instead of a four-year deal with 4.5 percent annual raises. But the impact of that extra year and larger raises is grossly overstated.


Don't discount the Mavericks. Howard's agent, Dan Fegan, is close friends with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Josh Smith's pursuit of a max deal

Smith, who has spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Atlanta Hawks, is seeking a maximum-salary contract. He fills up stat sheets, but will any team pay him max money?

Andrew Bynum's knees

Bynum missed the entire 2012-13 season because of knee trouble, making the Philadelphia 76ers the unquestioned losers in last summer's 12-player blockbuster trade that sent Howard to the Lakers.

Bynum's knee issues and overall immaturity make him a major risk.

Denver's pursuit of Andre Iguodala

Iguodala, who was dealt to the Denver Nuggets in the Howard trade, opted out of his deal. The Nuggets will attempt to re-sign him. But if the Nuggets fail and if the Lakers fail to re-sign Howard, it would leave the Orlando Magic as the improbable winner of last summer's blockbuster.


J.J. Redick: Back to Milwaukee?

Redick was dealt by the Magic to the Milwaukee Bucks just before the 2012-13 trade deadline, and the Bucks were a bad fit for him. It will be interesting to see how significantly the collective-bargaining agreement's more punitive luxury-tax penalties work against non-star players such as Redick.

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