Dwight Howard trade rumors have really kicked into high great, but are the Houston Rockets asking too much? The fresh Howard trade talk links even more teams to the rumors, especially those teams looking to make a push for the 2016 NBA Playoffs. A new report from Sports Illustrated on Thursday, February 11, states that the Rockets are working hard with Howard's agent to complete a deal. This could potential involve Howard's agent speaking to prospective teams about his contract option or a new extension.
A big key to all the Dwight Howard trade rumors will be how likely he is to remain with a new franchise. As the Rockets continue to negotiate with other teams, one of the biggest questions will become whether he plans to stay in that new city. The Rockets are already his third NBA team after Howard spent his first few years with the Orlando Magic before getting traded to the L.A. Lakers. After one season with the Lakers, Howard signed as a free agent with the Houston Rockets during the 2013 NBA offseason. Nothing has gone according to plan since then.
Over the last five or six NBA seasons, there have been a constant flow of Dwight Howard trade rumors during the regular season. This is due to how badly teams have played with him on the active roster, beginning with the Lakers struggling to find chemistry between Howard and Kobe Bryant. Now there are rumors that James Harden and Howard don't mesh on or off the court in Houston, requiring that a short-term move be made for the long-term health of the franchise. The team isn't going to part with Harden, so Howard is now on the trading block.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the new Dwight Howard trade rumors began seriously developing after the Houston Rockets lost to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, February 10. The team fell out of a spot in the 2016 NBA Playoffs and there was obvious discord in the locker room following the game. The chaotic situation that has enveloped the Rockets for the entire regular season may have reached a boiling point. With the All-Star break giving the Rockets a chance to really shop Howard around the league, he might be dealt before the NBA trade deadline on February 18.
During the 2015-16 NBA season, Howard has started 44 games for the Rockets. He is averaging 14.6 points, 12.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and 1.0 steals per game. From the field he is shooting 61.2 percent and he is at 53.2 percent from the free throw line. Howard is 30 years old and has a player option worth about $23.3 million for the 2016-17 NBA season. It is because of those numbers that the Rockets may be asking teams for too much in a trade, especially since he might be gone after 27 games. That has reportedly bogged down some negotiations.
A new report from ESPN has Howard stating that he did not ask for a trade from the front office and that he is "not running" from the situation. This doesn't mean that the Rockets aren't trying to shop him, but rather that Howard and his agent have decided to make it public that they are not "demanding" action. Howard did speak at length when he was contacted about the brewing trade chatter.
"I have not asked the Rockets to trade me. Nor have I talked about right trades. I want to win. I want this situation to work. I chose this team. And I'm not running because we have been faced with some adversity."So what teams are possibly interested in a Dwight Howard trade? The Boston Celtics may be at the top of that list, as the team possesses a lot of assets to make a deal possible. Celtics president Danny Ainge could match salaries with power forward David Lee and then add a first-round pick or two to the equation. The Portland Trail Blazers could also use a center who can command the low post and wouldn't have to match salaries due to being so far under the salary cap. But would the Blazers really offer a good enough package to entice the Rockets?
One interesting scenario that has enveloped social media is for the Houston Rockets to trade Howard to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Tristan Thompson and a pick or two. Having Howard on the same roster as Kevin Love, LeBron James, and Kyrie Irving could certainly make things interesting atop the Eastern Conference standings. There has been no confirmation among any of the Dwight Howard trade rumors that Houston and Cleveland have discussed a deal, but the front offices may at least want to chat about it. Before the NBA trade deadline hits, there are likely to be many more rumors coming out.
[Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]