The New York Knicks have been linked to numerous NBA trade rumors in the past month, and one of the biggest included Dwight Howard. While anything is possible, Howard’s name is now being linked to yet another rumored trade that could take him away from the Houston Rockets and back to the Eastern Conference.
According to NVO News, the latest trade discussion could have Dwight Howard moving out of Houston and being traded to the Toronto Raptors. These rumors are coming about due to Howard still reportedly being disappointed with where he is in the NBA.
Reports came about early last month that Howard said he couldn’t play with Rockets’ star James Harden. Since that made the rounds, the Rockets went on a pretty good streak and are sitting in the seventh playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 17-19 record.
If he was traded to the Toronto Raptors, his playoff chances would instantly improve. The Raptors are currently in the fifth spot in the East and have a record of 21-15. His chances also improve for the playoffs since the East is considerably weaker than the West.
Howard started his career in the Eastern Conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Orlando Magic in 2004. He stayed there until 2012, when he headed to the L.A. Lakers. After just one season in Los Angeles, he signed with the Houston Rockets and has been there since.
As Digital Journal reports, Howard is likely going to opt out of his contract after the 2015-2016 season is over. Well, that is if he’s still with the Rockets, and Houston isn’t going to want to lose him without getting anything in return.
That makes trading him by the NBA trade deadline in mid-February a big priority right now. There are numerous teams out there that would love to bring Howard into the fold because he would instantly improve their front court.
Right now, the Raptors have a back court that is absolutely loaded with Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and some decent back-ups, as well. Luis Scola and DeMarre Carroll make a formidable force up front, but Toronto lacks a true center.
That’s where Dwight Howard fits in really well.
Currently, Howard is having the worst scoring season since his rookie season over a decade ago. He’s also shooting a lot less right now, though, and he’s still just 30-years-old. Even with a down season, Howard’s also still putting up 13 points-per-game and grabbing 11 rebounds.
The offensive system of the Raptors could easily see him up his numbers to around 20 points-per-game and maybe even 17 or 18 rebounds-per-game.
Another possible option for the Raptors is Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls, who is now on the trading block. He would help Toronto as well, but he’s not someone like Howard who can have an entire franchise built around him.
Dwight Howard has been connected to a three-team deal that is still swirling around and would eventually land him with the New York Knicks. The New Orleans Pelicans would also join in on things to help even out salaries and make it work.
The NBA trade deadline is 3 p.m. ET on Feb. 18, 2016. If the Rockets are going to get anything in return for the loss of Dwight Howard before he opts out, then they need to put things into motion quickly.
Dwight Howard is currently in a situation with the Houston Rockets that he can’t control, but he will have the upper-hand after the season is over. A trade to the Toronto Raptors or New York Knicks would not only put him in the easier Eastern Conference, but may also make the NBA star a lot happier.
[Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images]