What's at Stake for Howard
In addition to the personal monetary and legacy differences that hinge on Dwight Howard's decision this offseason, teams' performance and production will look different depending on where he goes as well.
As a Dallas Maverick, Howard would carry a heavy load and quickly become the highest-scoring and most important player on the team. With the Houston Rockets, he wouldn't necessarily be the highest scorer or the most essential player, even if he becomes highly effective alongside James Harden.
If Howard remains with the Los Angeles Lakers, he's not going to be "the man" until Kobe Bryant is gone, although his numbers in 2013-14 and beyond will be better than his 2012-13 stats. Nevertheless, Howard won't be featured as much as long as Bryant and Pau Gasol are in town, which is something that will undoubtedly factor into his decision.
What He Means to Suitors
Despite his frustrating 2012-13 campaign, Howard represents one of Los Angeles' best hopes to climb the NBA ladder during the final years of Bryant and Gasol.
Retaining Howard would give Bryant an elite two-way center to work with and give the Lakers a star during their transition out of the Kobe era. Losing Howard would make the reloading process much trickier in Los Angeles and hamper its championship quest.
Howard's arrival in Dallas would mark a return to playoff-caliber basketball for the Mavs, although it's unclear as to how far he could take them in his first couple of years there.
The Houston Rockets would be an elite club, talent-wise, if Howard suits up for them. If they could incorporate him well into their game plan, title contention wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility in Houston.