Dwight Howard is reportedly on his way to the Los Angeles Lakers in a blockbuster trade, but that doesn't mean he has made a firm commitment long-term to the franchise just yet. Howard will not sign a long-term contract extension with the Lakers right now, preferring instead to test free agency, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
However, this isn't as much of a surprise as one would think, nor is it reason for Lakers fans to panic.
This decision is more about money than anything. If Howard signs a contract extension now, the most he could earn is $60 million over three years. However, if he waits until free agency, he could earn a five-year contract from the Lakers that would pay him over $100 million. Howard is likely waiting to secure a longer-term deal next summer.
Assuming Howard tests free agency, the Dallas Mavericks will be interested in signing him, according to Stein. However, the lack of an extension from the Lakers shouldn't be cause for concern that scenario will happen. If it was, the Lakers probably wouldn't be this deep in trade talks.