Dwight Howard reportedly joining the Houston Rockets

In what will become his third team in the past three years, Dwight Howard had just done what many in the past would’ve thought unthinkable.

He left the Lakers and chose to play for the Houston Rockets, according to multiple media reports. In an odd development, Howard’s agent initially denied a deal was done and the Lakers hadn’t been told about Howard’s intentions to leave them after one season and accept a four-year, $88 million deal to join the Rockets. Howard could’ve signed with the Lakers to a five-year, $118 million contract.

Howard reached that decision on Friday, three days after going through a grueling 48-hour free agent process that included visits with the Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks and the Lakers. He then spent two days over the 4th of July holiday in Aspen. Colo. mulling over his future.

Howard had narrowed down his choices to the Rockets and Lakers on Friday. Dallas owner Marc Cuban openly told local media outlets that the Mavericks were out of the Howard sweepstakes. Golden State cleared cap space to acquire Andre Iguodala from Denver with possible hopes to acquire Howard either through free agency or a sign-and-trade with the Lakers. But Howard passed them up, too.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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