The first domino to fall when free agency opens on July 1 may be the biggest.
The Lakers may very well find themselves in a bidding war for Howard's services this summer, with their primary competition being the Houston Rockets.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, "the Rockets have received what has been described as 'hopeful signals' that Howard is seriously considering a jump from the Lakers to the Rockets after becoming a free agent July 1."
However, unlike the Rockets, the Lakers are familiar with the Howard experience. When preparing to make such a significant financial commitment to a player of Howard's caliber, it's important to weigh the pros and cons, of which there are many.
Note: All statistics retrieved from Basketball-Reference unless noted otherwise.