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Dwight Howard officially joining Houston Rockets, Mitch Kupchak releases statement

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Mitch Kupchak released an official statement regarding Dwight Howard's decision to leave the Lakers.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It's official, Dwight Howard has decided to join the Houston Rockets, according to an official release from Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak. Howard's decision had been reported early Friday, but he was reportedly "reconsidering" his choice. The Lakers have been officially informed, Howard is going to Houston.

Kupchak's statement is fairly straight forward as he reveals the Lakers are "disappointed" but will move on without the superstar big man.

The Lakers can now put Howard in the rear view mirror as the Lakers "build the best team possible, oneour great Lakers fans will be proud to support."

Here's Kupchak's full statement:

"We have been informed of Dwight's decision to not return to the Lakers. Naturally we're disappointed. However, we will now move forward in a different direction with the future of the franchise and, as always, will do our best to build the best team possible, one our great lakers fans will be proud to support. To Dwight, we thank him for his time and consideration, and for his efforts with us last season. We wish him the best of luck on the remainder of his NBA career."

Howard will join James Harden and the Rockets to continue his career, and can officially sign with his new team on July 10.

The Lakers were the last team to be informed they were no longer in the running for Howard's services. The Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors were informed early Friday.

It's now officially over between Howard and the Lakers.

- Drew

- Follow this author on Twitter @DrewGarrisonSBN