Howard declined his $23.2 million player option with the Rockets on June 21, and at that point it was clear the 30-year-old was interested in leaving Houston and pursuing a fresh start.
Of course, that didn’t come as a big surprise given the way his final season with the Rockets played out.
After Houston fired head coach Kevin McHale just 11 games into the 2015-16 campaign, the Rockets were plagued by chemistry woes that reportedly stemmed from Howard’s inability to jibe with fellow superstar James Harden, according to ESPN.com’s Calvin Watkins.
Howard was also evidently frustrated by a reduced role in Houston’s offense.
Coming off a 2014-15 season in which he averaged 15.8 points and 10.5 rebounds that culminated in a Rockets run to the Western Conference Finals, the big man’s numbers slipped as Houston moved its offense away from the post.