Celtics trade rumors suddenly include Dwight Howard as a target. These Boston Celtics trade rumors indicate the Houston Rockets have already been contacted about possibly dealing Howard before the NBA trade deadline hits on February 18. A report from the New York Daily News confirms that the two sides have engaged in discussions about a deal. The rumors are odd because Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has been putting the team through a youth movement, and Howard is no longer that young.
There have been a number of recent Boston Celtics trade rumors, especially with the team now in a position to not only make a big move before the trade deadline, but also to grab homecourt advantage in the first-round of the NBA Playoffs. In the updated NBA standings, the Celtics have the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference at 28-22. If the 2016 NBA Playoffs were to begin today, the Celtics would be hosting the Chicago Bulls in the first round match-ups. This is a huge turnaround for the franchise.
Another reason for the sudden influx of Celtics trade rumors is that the team has a lot of assets that it could deal to improve the roster in the short-term. In addition to their own first-round draft picks, the Celtics also control the next three first-round selections for the Brooklyn Nets. As the Nets, now 12-37, continue to struggle during the 2015-16 NBA season, it raises the value of that first-round selection in the 2016 NBA Draft. That Nets selection is going to be a lottery pick with a shot at becoming the first or second pick.
Now enter the Boston Celtics trade rumors about possibly acquiring former All-Star center Dwight Howard from the Houston Rockets. It is no secret that the Rockets are shopping Howard before the NBA trade deadline and that his time in Texas may soon be at an end. Howard is owed just over $22 million for this season and then has a player option of just over $23 million for the 2016-17 NBA season. He could easily opt out of that deal and become a free agent in the offseason, which is why the Rockets may want to trade him before he simply walks away.
The Rockets have a 26-25 record this season, which is far from where NBA experts predicted the team would be after acquiring Ty Lawson. With a very expensive roster and the risk of paying luxury tax penalties very soon, the front office in Houston may feel that a deal could easily get worked out with the Celtics. For these Boston Celtics trade rumors to lead to something, though, Danny Ainge may need for the Rockets to trade Dwight Howard at a bargain-level price. Would Ainge really give up one of his first-round selections for an aging center who might not stay with the club in the NBA offseason?
During the 2015-16 NBA season, Dwight Howard has played in 40 games for the Houston Rockets. In 31.9 minutes a night, Howard is averaging 14.4 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. Those are really good numbers for a center, making him a really good complimentary player for the right franchise. Could Danny Ainge see Howard as the piece that gets the Celtics further than the first round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs?
It could be very interesting to see how these negotiations play out and whether the Celtics and Rockets draw a third team into the transaction. The 2016 NBA trade deadline hits on February 18, so time is running out for both sides to make a deal. While this would certainly be considered a blockbuster deal, fans should also expect more Boston Celtics trade rumors to surface until either Danny Ainge makes a deal or the deadline hits.
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