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Dwight Howard signing with the Houston Rockets

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The decision is in and Dwight Howard is leaving the Lakers

USA TODAY Sports

Dwight Howard has agreed to sign with the Houston Rockets, reports Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports. The superstar center has decided to leave the Los Angeles Lakers and will join James Harden and company in Houston. Howard can officially sign his contract with the Rockets on July 10.

Howard met with the Rockets immediately once he became a free agent at 9 p.m. PT. The Rockets' group included Yao Ming (via Skype), Clyde Drexler, James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Daryl Morey and other team executives.

Howard's decision to sign with Houston gives the core Morey has been building the final piece to make a push to become a perennial contender in the Western Conference.

While their offense will have to adjust to life with a center that needs more than the 7.5 field goal attempts per game Omer Asik averaged, Kevin McHale expressed to Howard during their presentation that they would look to build around him.

Now, the Lakers must move on without Howard, who less than a full year ago was one of the biggest acquisitions in Lakers history. Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash remain as the trio that Mitch Kupchak will have to build around, and there's no telling what's next for Los Angeles.

- Drew

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