The NBA trade rumors surrounding Dwight Howard are kicking into high gear just days before the NBA trade deadline, but the Houston Rockets’ asking price for their big man may be driving potential buyers away.
Howard has been on and off the block many times over the last several weeks, with reports that the team was wavering on whether to keep him and rebuild or ship him away for a package of young talent and draft picks. Houston has been teetering on the edge of contention in the Western Conference, good enough to make the playoffs and receive a relatively high seed, but not a complete enough team to compete with the likes of the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors.
But now, with just two days left until the NBA trade deadline, the team has been even busier trying to shop their big man. There are a handful of teams reported to be interested, including the Charlotte Hornets, which have been in contact with Houston regarding Howard.
Those talks may have hit a standstill, as the Hornets reportedly balked at Houston’s asking price, SB Nation reported.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 15, 2016
Other NBA trade rumors connected Dwight Howard to the Miami Heat in swap that would send Hassan Whiteside to Houston, but that too appears to be in danger. This week Bosh was forced to pull out of the NBA All-Star Game with a strained calf, but there are now fears that he could once again have a blood clot.
If the prognosis is true, the Miami Heat may lose any motivation to ship assets to Houston to land Dwight Howard.
“If Bosh is forced to miss the rest of the year like last year, a deal for Howard goes from likely to almost zero chance. Without Bosh, the Heat lose their top scorer and making a run at the Cavaliers for the Eastern Conference Finals now nearly impossible,” SB Nation reported. “Dwyane Wade is great and has been fantastic this season, but at this stage in his career, he isn’t a carry-the-team-on-his-back guy anymore.”
— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) February 13, 2016
There could be another problem with plans to trade Dwight Howard. While the Houston Rockets are reportedly very interested in trading Howard, the market may just not be there, SB Nation reported. Howard had been hampered by a back injury early in the season, and as a free agent is no guarantee to a team that trades for him.
“Houston has slipped to ninth place in the Western Conference and now seems to be actively shopping Howard around the league. The Rockets have yet to find a taker, though, because of Howard’s ongoing health issues and his likely status as a free agent this summer. Howard can opt out of the final year of his contract and is expected to do so to take advantage of the rising salary cap.”
It may not be such a loss if the Houston Rockets aren’t able to trade Dwight Howard. Last week, when rumors first circulated that he was off the trade block, sources close to the team said the Rockets wanted to re-sign Howard and build a team that could possibly attract Kevin Durant. There are a handful of other teams interested in Durant, who is expected to opt out of his contract after the season, and the Rockets would likely need to build a contender around Howard if they wanted to compete.
[Picture by Scott Halleran/Getty Images]