NBA trade rumors are stating that the Houston Rockets are asking way too much from other NBA teams that might consider trading for Dwight Howard. According to Yahoo! Sports, Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge recently stopped negotiations because Rockets general manager Daryl Morey simply wanted more than Ainge was willing to give up, which includes the highly coveted first round pick that used to be owned by the lowly Brooklyn Nets.
A lot of general managers in the NBA believe that the Houston Rockets are in a tricky situation when it comes to Dwight Howard. They know that the Rockets don’t want to overpay Howard or give him a deal that lasts longer than his usefulness on the floor. That is a big reason why a lot of NBA executives have been contacting Daryl Morey to see if he is willing to give up Howard on the cheap just to make sure that Houston gets something for him instead of seeing him walk away for free.
Those that watched him play this season know that Dwight Howard is on the decline. The 6’11”, 260 pound veteran is below his career averages in points, rebounds, assists, and steals this season. Howard has also struggled at times to play in the same offense as James Harden, who likes to dominate the ball on offense. The Houston Rockets have tried to get them to gel but thus far have failed.
Fortunately for the Houston Rockets, a declining Dwight Howard is still better than most centers in the NBA. Even in a reduced role, Howard is still putting up 14.1 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. That’s another big reason why NBA general managers have been contacting Daryl Morey. The Rockets, though, are going to just wait to see what the highest bid is going to be because they do not feel compelled to make a trade just for the sake of making a trade.
Apparently, the backup plan for the Houston Rockets is for Daryl Morey and Dwight Howard to sit down after the NBA season is over and discuss a more reasonable contract. Morey will point out to Howard that he is getting older and should accept a lesser role for the chance at winning an NBA Championship. Daryl might even remind Dwight that the mainstream media and his critics will have new material to work with if he leaves yet another team.
Another weapon that Daryl Morey might use to convince Dwight Howard to remain with the Houston Rockets is the fact that they could have enough money to go after Kevin Durant, who played college basketball with the nearby Texas Longhorns. A trio of James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Dwight Howard could compete for an NBA Championship, even in a stacked Western Conference division that is led by the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs, two teams that have been playing out of this world this season.
Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard aren’t friends, but Durant is close to James Harden, as the two of them came into the league together with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Daryl Morey will use that to sell Durant. Morey will also sell to Durant that Houston is one of the larger markets in the country and a bigger market than Oklahoma City. That might be enough to convince Durant to sign with the Houston Rockets.
Convincing Dwight Howard to take a cheaper deal and signing Kevin Durant from the Oklahoma City Thunder would give Daryl Morey a pretty high off-season grade.
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