With the February 18 deadline fast approaching, the Boston Celtics have engaged in talks with Houston Rockets about possibly landing Dwight Howard, according to latest NBA trade rumors.
Per the NY Daily News: “Celtics have engaged the Houston Rockets in talks about a possible deal for Dwight Howard, the Daily News has learned. Howard can opt out of his contract this summer, and considering his back and knee issues, it doesn’t make much sense for Boston GM Danny Ainge to use the assets on a player with declining skills and a battered body,” wrote Frank Isola.
The rumor was confirmed by local Boston reporters Mike Gorman and Sherrod Blakely of the Comcast Sports Net. “The reported interest on the Boston Celtics’ part in Houston’s Dwight Howard is accurate, but talks (for now at least) aren’t expected to go much further than the discussion phase of negotiations, according to a league source,” wrote CSNNE.com.
No shortage of tradeable assets…
It’s an intriguing development since the Celtics have a wide assortment of centers and power forwards to offer, besides a ton of draft picks. The quartet of David Lee, Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger and Tyler Zeller can be packaged in a deal that would secure Houston’s front court for a long time.
Also, in June’s NBA Draft, Boston will have three first-round picks and a whopping five second-round picks to choose from. In other words, the Celtics can draft eight rookies at one go around. If the Rockets are willing to hit the reset button, this trade would adequately help that endeavor.
Howard denies trade demand…
Dwight Howard is most likely to opt out of his contract this summer and pursue free agency. Of course, his market value has considerably dipped in recent years. This season, Howard is averaging 14.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game with a PER of 20.4 – considerably lower than his heydays.
Despite all the NBA trade rumors, Howard wants to focus on his game. “I didn’t say it (that I want to be traded), what can I do. There is nothing I can say. Teams are going to say what they have to say. I don’t know,” the former All-Star told reporters after Wednesday’s practice session.
If Howard passes on his $23.3 million player option, he will become a free agent on July 1. “Nobody talks about that stuff (free agency and trades),” said the big man. “My mind is on trying to get better every day, and I felt like I was on a good stretch and got hurt. Just trying to get back, that’s my mindset. We don’t sit around and talk about, ‘Hey what’s going to happen next year?’ Because that means you’re really not in, and you don’t want to have those thoughts,” added the former three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner.
Stay tuned for more NBA trade rumors.