Just a week after the trade deadline, and just a few months before he becomes an unrestricted free agent, Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard has fired agent Dan Fegan and is officially looking for new representation:
“As I continue to embark on my NBA journey, I have to decided to sever my relationship with Dan Fegan and Relativity Sports…I have the utmost respect for Dan, but this is the right decision for me. My sole focus remains working with my teammates to position the Rockets for a pursuit of a championship. I wish Dan and the team at Relativity all the best in the future.”
This is poor timing for Fegan, who won’t get a cut from negotiating Howard’s next contract — presumably the final lucrative deal of the 30-year-old’s career.
The NBA agent still has few high-profile clients in the stable — most notably DeMarcus Cousins and Chandler Parsons — but this hasn’t exactly been the most profitable stretch of his career. Earlier this year, Fegan also parted ways with Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and Washington Wizards point guard John Wall.
Howard, on the other hand, is quietly putting together an impressive campaign. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year is averaging 14.6 points and 12.0 rebounds per game (third highest in the league), playing nearly three more minutes per contest than he did last season.
While the Rockets went through their usual pregame dunks, Dwight Howard picked up Ty Lawson like a kid out of the stands to help him on one.
Injury and off-court concerns aside, the guy is about to get paid. Several teams will have interest in making him their new starting center next season, and it’s unlikely he accepts anything lower than a max contract (via USA Today):
It remains unclear who Howard will choose as his next agent, but the decision to part ways with Fegan could certainly have a ripple effect on his uncertain future. Despite the fact that the Rockets explored Howard trade possibilities leading up to the Feb. 18 deadline, the chance remains that he could re-sign in Houston this summer. For the Rockets’ part, their dream scenario remains: pair Howard with Harden and free-agent-to-be Kevin Durant, or pursue fellow free agents like Al Horford or Ryan Anderson to fill that role if Howard heads for the exits. There should be no shortage of suitors, but only time will tell if Howard can find the kind of max money he so desires. Teams like Atlanta, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Miami, and Brooklyn are expected to have varying levels of interest, but the respective markets of fellow free agent big men Hassan Whiteside (the Miami Heat) and Joakim Noah (the Chicago Bulls) will likely play a role in what he is ultimately paid.
Which team Howard plays for next is still very much up in the air; whoever he hires as his next agent will definitely have serious work cut out for them.