Amick: Howard was considering a change in representation

From Sam Amick’s piece today:

While it’s true that Howard never asked for a trade leading up to the deadline, the notion that his always-aggressive agent, Dan Fegan, wasn’t part of the process is about as believable as the notion of the Rockets winning it all this season. A message was being sent to the rest of the league in the days leading up to the deadline, with teams like Milwaukee, Charlotte and Atlanta learning firsthand that Howard’s top-dollar demands are very real. The fact that Howard was known to be seriously considering a change in representation at the time, meanwhile, only complicated an already-tricky situation.

Yet if Howard truly wanted out of Houston, he could have told those teams that he would pick up the player option for next season and push his free agency back to the summer of 2018. Instead, he stayed and the possibility of this partnership surviving thus remained.

The entire piece was about Howard’s uncertain future in Houston, but the interesting tidbit above pertains to Fegan.  It’s news to me that Howard was “seriously considering a change in representation”; I personally have written at lengths about the curious nature of the agent-athlete relationship, one which sometimes seems to push the bounds of fiduciary responsibility.  Exhibit A was Fegan’s insistence on steering Howard to the Mavs and Exhibit B, the odd agreement regarding Chandler Parsons: it didn’t benefit Howard at all when Fegan used him as leverage to secure a favorable scenario for a different client.

Now it seems Fegan was intent on shopping Howard to a destination where his bird rights would remain intact.  But I disagree with Amick on the conclusion.  That Howard didn’t agree to pick up his option doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t want out of Houston.  He could want out of Houston, but prefer to weigh all of his options in the summer, and go to the destination of his choice, rather than settle for staying with whoever was willing to make a trade.

Dwight Howard’s free agency was going to be a major theme heading into next summer, but its been grossly complicated by Houston’s embarrassment of a season.  Why come back at a discount to a losing situation?

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of

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