The anticipation of the free-agent summer of 2012 has been built up to be every bit as good, if not better, than the famous free agency period of 2012. In a deep free agent class, Dwight Howard is the cream of the crop.
Howard is a freakishly athletic, seven-foot tall center who was drafted by the Orlando Magic in 2004 as a project out of high school. Since then, he has been named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year three times, made five All-Star teams and has led the league in rebounds and blocks several times.
Add that to the fact that he's played at least 78 games in each of his professional seasons and you have one heck of a durable presence anchoring the team.
Offensively, Howard has been a project for the Magic in the best way a player can be considered a project. That is to say, Howard is a very one-dimensional offensive player, but he's really good at that dimension.
Howard is a pure monster around the rim. He has always been a thunderous dunker and has improved his finesse game around the rim.
Once he gets away from the rim, Howard's offensive game takes a drastic turn to the negative. Howard has no shooting touch and is bad at the free-throw line. Having said that, Howard is so good around the rim, and at getting second-chance points, that he makes himself a weapon on offense rather than a liability.
Heading into his big free-agent summer, Howard has been vocal about having his list of teams to choose from. It seems like Howard is already making his plan to leave Orlando, but the Magic seem dead set on doing everything to keep their big man.
The following is a list of teams who will most likely make a run at Dwight Howard. Some of them will have cap room available as their team stands, others will have to decide they want Howard by the trade deadline and clear cap room to make space for him.
Either way, it is likely that Howard will end up with one of these teams come the 2012-2013 season. Whichever team lands him will have a virtually indestructible force at the center position for years to come, which is something that is rare in today's NBA.