Dwight Howard trade rumors have the Washington Wizards checking in with the Houston Rockets. These new Dwight Howard trade rumors indicate that Washington feels he could still be a star player in the low post. A report from the Washington Post late Tuesday, February 16, underscores that the Wizards’ front office does have concerns as well. While Washington is interested in adding Howard, the front office has worries about how his back will hold up in the long-term. This could keep a deal from taking place before the NBA trade deadline on February 18.
Two other items are of concern to the Washington Wizards as well. In a Dwight Howard trade, the Wizards would have to give up matching salaries in addition to a draft pick of interest to the Houston Rockets. That could destroy the depth that the Wizards have built up, even if it could improve the team defensively in the low post. The other prime concern is that Howard would likely opt out of his final contract year during the NBA offseason, leaving the Wizards very little to show for a midseason trade.
The most likely scenario for the Washington Wizards is that these Dwight Howard trade rumors will lead to nothing taking place with the Houston Rockets before the NBA trade deadline. The front office in Washington has put together a deep roster that might be the healthiest it has been during the 2015-16 NBA season. Keeping that core together and preserving a lot of salary cap room in the coming NBA offseason could be seen as a win-win situation for the Wizards.
The players who are now healthy include Bradley Beal, Nene, Drew Gooden III, Kris Humphries, and possibly Alan Anderson this weekend. Anderson may be ready to make his debut after missing most of the season due to surgery on his left ankle. This could give the team a lot of depth down the stretch and put the Washington Wizards in a great position for the 2016 NBA Playoffs. At the All-Star break, the Wizards have a 23-28 record, putting the team three games behind the Charlotte Hornets for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.
There is a thought that the team could look to deal several veterans before the deadline in order to collect assets, especially since the Wizards could be looking at another lottery pick. The team is ready to pursue a top-tier free agent in the coming NBA offseason, though, with only about $43 million in committed salaries for next year. The first order of business would be to re-sign Bradley Beal, but then the team could turn its attention to other players.
As for the Dwight Howard trade rumors, they won’t come to an end simply because the Wizards decide to take a pass. The Houston Rockets are motivated to trade the former All-Star center, and there are clearly a number of teams that would like to have him for the rest of the 2015-16 NBA season. The ultimate question is one of cost and just how much the Rockets are expecting in return. He is definitely just a rental at this point, but it’s possible Howard’s agent could be talking with teams about a contract extension.
Any team at or above the NBA salary cap will have to match Howard’s salary of just about $22.4 million to make a trade work. It would be easy for a team like the Boston Celtics to offer David Lee as a major part of a deal, but would the Rockets take a smaller package just to get something before losing Howard to free agency? At 27-28, the Rockets are outside the playoff race in the West, giving the team added incentive to follow through with one of the Dwight Howard trade rumors before it’s too late.
[Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images]