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Trade Deadline Update: Rockets Contacting Teams About Trading Dwight Howard

The+Houston+Rockets+have+started+contacting+teams+about+trading+eight-time+All-Star+Dwight+Howard%2C+Yahoo%27s+Adrian+Wojnarowski+reports.
The Houston Rockets have started contacting teams about trading eight-time All-Star Dwight Howard, Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

The Houston Rockets have started contacting teams about trading eight-time All-Star Dwight Howard, Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports

Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets have started contacting teams about trading eight-time All-Star Dwight Howard, Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

Sahil Bhutani, Online Editor

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Just 13 days after ESPN reported the Rockets have no plans to trade Dwight Howard and just seven days before the February 18 trade deadline, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the “Rockets have started contacting teams about trading eight-time All-Star Dwight Howard.” 

According to Wojnarowski, Howard plans to opt-out of his contract and become a free agent this summer, after which he will seek a maximum-contract extension. The Rockets could be putting him on the trade market for multiple reasons.

Firstly, if the Rockets don’t believe Howard deserves the max, they would rather trade him and receive some valuable assets, be it players or draft picks, in return. Otherwise, they would lose Howard for nothing in free agency. In this scenario, the Rockets would likely need to trade him to a team where Howard would be likely to re-sign. If a team doesn’t believe Howard will re-sign with them, they will give up much less for a one-year rental of the 6’11” center.

Secondly, the Rockets may be looking to trade Howard depending on what direction the team wants to take this year. If owner Leslie Alexander still believes this season to be salvageable, general manager Daryl Morey may be looking to add players to the team that can contribute immediately. On the other hand, if Alexander and Morey believe the season to be lost, the Rockets may trade Howard (and more) for younger players and draft picks. This course of action would have the added likely consequence of causing the Rockets to miss the playoffs, giving them a higher draft pick this year.

Trade rumors have surfaced in the last 48 hours about a possible trade with Miami to bring Hassan Whiteside to the Rockets, but the deal has been jeopardized by a possible blood clot in the leg of Heat forward Chris Bosh.

Morey and Alexander’s plan for the rest of the season is unclear. One thing is for certain, though. If the Rockets are trading Dwight Howard, the rest of the season will be vastly different than the beginning, one way or another. We’ll know in 24 hours.

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