NBA rumors swirled heavily around Dwight Howard right before the trade deadline took place, as there were several teams that were interested in acquiring the services of the All Star center. The Milwaukee Bucks were reportedly extremely close to pulling the trigger on a Howard trade. According to Yahoo! Sports, Dwight was actually willing to accept the trade to the Bucks if they had not asked him to extend his contract.
Reports have surfaced that the Houston Rockets were asking other NBA teams for a front line player and a first round draft pick in exchange for the services of Dwight Howard. A lot of teams, including Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics, were hesitant to make the deal, but the Milwaukee Bucks agreed to the offer. Unfortunately for the Bucks, though, Howard put an end to the deal because he informed Rockets general manager Daryl Morey that he wouldn’t make a commitment to the Bucks.
Milwaukee Bucks play-by-play commentator Gus Johnson apparently had a conversation with Dwight Howard when the Houston Rockets were in town. According to Johnson, he stated that Howard informed him that he was not opposed to joining the Bucks. Howard was simply against the idea of opting into the final year of his contract, as that would not have been a good business move with the NBA increasing the salary cap tremendously this summer.
For many, it’s hard to imagine Dwight Howard willingly going to a smaller market like Milwaukee. In the past, the 6’11”, 260 pound center has forced his way from the Orlando Magic to the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the largest markets in the NBA. When things didn’t work out with Kobe Bryant there, Howard took his talents to the Houston Rockets. It’s hard to think that Dwight would purposely opt to go to a smaller market than Los Angeles, Houston, New York, etc.
Some believe that Dwight Howard might have been willing to join the Milwaukee Bucks on a temporary basis this season because he felt that there was enough talent on the roster to challenge for a spot in the NBA Playoffs. Even though they are currently not in one of the top eight seed in the Eastern Conference, the addition of Howard might have helped the Bucks narrow the gap after the trade deadline.
The Milwaukee Bucks roster have talented performers like Michael Carter-Williams, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, Khris Middleton, and Greg Monroe. Even though they haven’t been able to get things together under Bucks head coach Jason Kidd, the amount of talent is undeniable. Perhaps someone like Dwight Howard could have sparked something in them and get them to play well together.
Whatever Dwight Howard is saying right now towards the Milwaukee Bucks needs to be taken with a grain of salt. He recently fired his longtime agent, and he’s set to become a free agent. While he appears goofy on the court, Howard is savvy enough of a businessman to know to leave some bridges not burnt. Even if he has no legitimate interest in signing with the Bucks, it would behoove him to have as much leverage as possible as he shops around the NBA for a final home.
Using an NBA franchise to get the deal that you want is nothing new. Dwight Howard would not be the first player to do this. Nor would be the last person to use this tactic. However, you say what you need to say to get as big of a deal as you can get.
[Featured Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]