Dwight Howard will have an option to become a free agent after the 2015-16 season, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. The new Rockets center agreed to a four-year, $88 million maximum contract on Friday that will have an early termination option after the third year of the deal.
Howard could use the early termination in 2016 to re-sign with the Rockets, when he would be eligible for a five-year maximum contract with Houston, but that assumes they would still want him then. Howard will be 30 in 2016 and, after already dealing with a major back injury, there are no assurances that he will be a dominant player in three years' time.
Whether Howard is or isn't completely healthy, he could also use the opt out to leave the Rockets in 2016. That means the NBA might be a mere three years away from another Dwightmare.
In addition to the opt out, Howard also has a 15 percent trade kicker in his contract. That means, if he's traded, the mercurial big man will be paid what he is due on the remainder of his contract plus an extra 15 percent.