January 25, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan (10) goes to the basket while defended by Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap (24) and forward Derrick Favors (15) during the first quarter at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Dwight Howard decides - and so do a whole lot of others

The Dwight-mare finally ended late Friday night, with the object of everyone’s lust choosing to become a Houston Rocket. Other free agents have landed:

  • Jose Calderon is a Dallas Maverick
  • Andre Iguodala signs with Golden State
  • Paul Millsap goes to Atlanta (and Kyle Korver stays there)
  • Tyreke Evans becomes a Pelican
  • Chris Copeland has fled New York for Indiana (good get by Pacers!)

May 16, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Chris Copeland (14) celebrates scoring with small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers in game 5 of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 85-75. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

While the free-agent dust is far from settled, at this point the collateral damage caused by the jockeying for Howard becomes highly relevant. A couple of examples: Golden State had to renounce their rights to Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry to chase Dwight, and now have nothing to show for that move except an emaciated bench. (Greg Hall has posted his desire to see our Toronto Raptors pursue either or both of these players, to which I completely concur.)  Howard’s arrival in Houston means the near-certain departure of a very valuable centre named Omer Asik, who the Rockets will be able to command a healthy price for.

Certain teams have distanced themselves from the pack this summer. Houston is now a championship-grade team, as are Miami, OKC, San Antonio and perhaps Indiana, Golden State and Chicago. There are a bunch of unrepentant bottom-feeders, like the Celtics, Bucks, Bobcats, Magic, Suns, and 76ers, all of whom are entries in the Andrew Wiggins backwards race. The Jazz and Lakers have been hard hit by defections, and may be tanking by mid-season. That leaves a number of teams, including the Raps, battling for playoff spots. Can we grab one, finally?

Brian Boake is Senior Editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.


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Tags: Andre Iguodala Dwight Howard Indiana Pacers Jose Calderon Toronto Raptors

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