Dwight Howard to Opt Out of Rockets Contract & Become Free Agent

Dwight Howard

As expected, Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard is opting out of his contract and will become a free agent on July 1, reports ESPN.

Howard, 30, is coming off a disappointing season, in which he averaged just 13.7 points and attempted just 8.5 field goals per game in 2015-16 -- his lowest since his rookie season with Orlando in 2004-05.

He had a one year remaining on his contract, but declined a player option that would have paid him $23.2 million.

The Rockets have hired coach Mike D'Antoni, who Howard previously played under during a single season stint with the Los Angeles Lakers... and apparently wasn't excited to play in that system again.

It's currently unclear where Howard will end up next season.

With Howard off the books the Rockets gain $45 million in cap space.