NBA Trade Rumors: Dwight Howard Is On The Block -- Heading To Knicks, Lakers, Or Bulls?

For a while earlier this season, it seemed as if Dwight Howard was as good as out of Houston before the Rockets even completed the current year. The NBA trade rumors were heating up, and then all of a sudden, the team improved and the talk went away. Now, the Rockets are sitting at 27-28 heading into the All-Star break, and have fallen out of the playoffs. That being said, Dwight Howard is back on the block, and any number of teams could be in contention for him.

According to Yahoo Sports, the Rockets have actually started contacting other NBA teams about trading for the eight-time All-Star. They are looking to see what teams have to offer and what they're willing to trade away.

The All-Star Game is this weekend and the Houston Rockets don't play their next game until Feb. 19. The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 18, so if any kind of move for Dwight Howard is going to happen, it's going to happen very soon.

Howard does plan on exercising the opt-out clause in his contract so that the 30-year-old can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer. The Rockets would like to get something for him and not have Howard leave without anything in return, hence the trade talks starting again.

It is believed that Howard is going to be seeking a maximum contract extension this summer. The Houston Rockets are at least working with Dan Fegan, Howard's agent, to see what is the best destination for the big man.

Three losses in a row for the Rockets, and losers of six of their last 10, isn't helping matters any, either.

dwight howard nba trade rumors houston rockets
[Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images]Back in 2013, Howard left the L.A. Lakers and signed a four-year deal with the Rockets that was worth $88 million. The player option for the 2016-2017 season was included in the contract, and he plans on using it.

Oddly enough, the L.A. Lakers are one of the teams that Howard has had his name attached to in the NBA trade rumors this season. The Lakers are having an awful season and looking to rebuild with youth and a few veterans, but the offseason acquisitions they brought in aren't working.

It's possible that the Rockets could send Howard to Los Angeles with Roy Hibbert and maybe Lou Williams heading to Houston.

Back in December, during the heat of the NBA trade talks for Howard, ESPN reported that the Chicago Bulls were one of the top teams that he could end up being traded to. The Bulls have also been the subject of a lot of rumors this season with even talk that Derrick Rose or Joakim Noah could be on their way out of town.

Bleacher Report is stating that the "asking price has been steep" from the Houston Rockets so far in the teams they've contacted. That's not entirely surprising, but if they keep their sights set too high, then the NBA trade deadline may come and go without any move being made at all.

nba trade rumors dwight howard houston rockets knicks lakers bulls
[Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images]In December, the Inquisitr also reported that the New York Knicks could be a good landing location for Dwight Howard if a trade were to be made. Carmelo Anthony could be used as trade bait as the Knicks try to add a bit more youth to their roster.

The Houston Rockets have been up-and-down all season, and now, they are falling to one of their lowest points. Interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff as even gone as far as to say that he is currently leading "a broken team."

"We're broken. It's that simple. We're a broken team, and we all need to use this break to figure out how we're going to impact change. If we don't want to impact change, then we need to be made aware of that, too, and we'll go in a different direction.

"We can't continue to go out and play this way. It's easy to see it's a fragmented bunch. You can't win that way."

The Houston Rockets need something to change, and in a big way that will possibly help them now and not just in the future. Trading Dwight Howard is that big move that could do it, and it looks like the NBA trade rumors are now going to come true as the big man is confirmed to be on the block.

[Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images]