NBA Rumors: Dwight Howard Choosing Between Houston Rockets And Orlando Magic

NBA rumors are swirling around Dwight Howard. Reports recently surfaced that the 30-year-old center was interested in making a return to the Orlando Magic, the team that originally drafted him out of high school. The chance to reconcile with a fan base that once showered him with love and to become the face of a franchise again are tempting to Howard. Dwight might not be ready to change jerseys just yet, though. According to Hoops Rumors, Howard is leaning towards staying with the Houston Rockets.

For much of this season, there has been speculation that Dwight Howard was on his way out the door with the Houston Rockets. His role with the team had diminished, especially on the offensive end. Rumors surfaced that Howard had issues with James Harden, the ball-dominant guard and franchise player for the Rockets. Several stories surfaced about potential trades or a free agent departure for Dwight.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden
James Harden [Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images]A trade for Dwight Howard never came to fruition. The Houston Rockets contacted several teams in the NBA to gauge their interest, but in the end, no deal came to be. However, a free agent departure for Howard is still something that is possible. For sure, he's going to opt out of his contract with the Rockets. It makes financial sense because the salary cap in the National Basketball Association is going to be rising tremendously.

Knowing that he's going to browse around the NBA anyways, the Houston Rockets should allow Dwight Howard to do just that. Let Howard and his new agent see what the market has to offer. Dwight might not like what he sees out there, as teams might be hesitant to throw a ton of money at a 30-year-old player that has declined over the years. The 6'11", 260 pound center is still a good player, but he's no longer a franchise player.

Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon
Aaron Gordon [Photo by Elsa/Getty Images]One of the things that is working against Dwight Howard is the fact that the NBA has shifted to smaller lineups and perimeter oriented offenses. Long gone are the days where a traditional center could dominate the league. The Golden State Warriors are the best team in the National Basketball Association, and they're at their most dominant when a 6'7", 230 pound forward (Draymond Green) is playing at the center position.

At the very least, there should be a meeting between Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. The team is desperate to return to the NBA Playoffs, something that they haven't done since trading Howard away to the Los Angeles Lakers. The team has an assortment of talented young players with Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo, Aaron Gordon, and Nikola Vucevic. However, it hasn't been enough to get them into the postseason. Howard might be able to help with that.

Houston Rockets center Clint Capela
Clint Capela [Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]As someone that is very concerned about his public image, Dwight Howard might simply choose to stick with the Houston Rockets because he doesn't want people mocking him for switching teams once again. Even though the team has been grooming a replacement in Clint Capela, the Rockets are said to be interested in keeping Howard around. The 21-year-old still has some developing to do, and Houston has the luxury of time because he is so young.

Dwight Howard is going to be one of the most talked about players when NBA free agency starts this summer. Every team that he visits, especially the Orlando Magic, is going to generate some excitement. However, if the veteran center wants to avoid being in the spotlight, he can always quickly sign with the Houston Rockets. Then again, Howard might like the extra attention that he will receive.

[Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images]