Commentary

One hot free-agent summer

Updated: July 2, 2013, 5:36 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

The NBA tried to improve themselves through the NBA draft. A few teams made noise following the draft, and others made headlines by entering the Dwight Howard sweepstakes.

Let's start in the Eastern Conference, where the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks each made great decisions to improve. Chicago landed forward Mike Dunleavy Jr., who verbally committed to sign with the team later this month. Dunleavy Jr. spent the past two seasons with the Bucks, and his presence in Chicago should give the Bulls additional scoring off the bench. He's a good shooter and will fit in well with the likes of Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng, a couple of former Dukies (assuming they'll still be there).

Knicks fans should be ecstatic with the addition of former top pick Andrea Bargnani from Toronto. The Knicks gave up outside shooter Steve Novak, big man Marcus Camby and future draft picks to add an established scorer. Bargnani averaged more than 15 points per game in Toronto, and his addition will help provide another offensive threat to go with Carmelo Anthony up front.

New York may not be done, as reports indicate an interest in another former No. 1 pick, Elton Brand. Stay tuned in the Big Apple, baby!

Out West, the big question is, will the Los Angeles Lakers re-sign Dwight Howard?

It would be vital for the franchise to keep the super-rebounder, defender and scorer in the fold. It would be a devastating blow for the franchise if he goes elsewhere. I know Kobe Bryant is among the contingent trying to keep him out in L.A.

Right now, the Los Angeles Clippers have done a great job grabbing the headlines. The addition of Doc Rivers as coach is a major plus. Chris Paul's agreement to return to the Clippers has also added stability to the team.

My friends, imagine if Howard went to Dallas or Houston?

The Rockets made their feelings known by visiting Howard with a group that included players James Harden and Chandler Parsons, plus Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler.

That was quite a welcoming committee.

With the Howard sweepstakes in the headlines, plus other free agent moves making noise, this will be an interesting summer for NBA fans.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.