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Report: Dwight Howard’s friends say he’s interested in Knicks

Houston Rockets v New York Knicks

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets heads for the net as Jason Smith #14 of the New York Knicks defends at Madison Square Garden on January 8, 2015 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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In the heat of the Dwightmare, the Knicks were reportedly interested the then-Magic center – but only if he gave strong indication the feeling was mutual. New York didn’t want to disrupt its chemistry unless Howard was committed.

Howard – who will surely opt out of his contract with the Rockets this summer – isn’t taking any chances this time around.

The Knicks now have reason to believe Howard wants to be in New York.

Ian Begley of ESPN:

one name to keep in mind this summer is Dwight Howard.

Some of Howard’s friends have let it be known recently that the center would be interested in coming to New York as a free agent if he opts out of his current contract, league sources say.

You might have friends who love New York, who eat up the city’s energy and look past its flaws. It seems Howard has those friends, and they’re making their preference known.

Hey, I’d want my friends to be in my favorite cities, too. If any of my friends reading this moves to New Orleans, I’m down to visit.

Whether Howard shares the same preference for the Knicks is a little less clear. This report attributes the interest to Howard, but it’s second-hand at best.

More likely, Howard would be interested in whatever team offers the largest contract.

It’s harder to predict what the Knicks will do, but they don’t have a huge apparent need for Howard. Robin Lopez is a fine starting center until Kristaps Porzingis is ready for the position (if he’s not already), and Kyle O’Quinn provides more than enough depth. With several needs elsewhere, the Knicks probably shouldn’t splurge on Howard.

But Howard surely won’t hesitate to use New York as leverage. It’s a classic play, one often used with Los Angeles.

Howard, of course, couldn’t cite the Lakers. So, the Knicks it is.