Rockets center Dwight Howard was not traded by Thursday’s deadline because Houston’s asking price for him was too high, reports ESPN’s Marc Stein.
The Rockets reportedly wanted at minimum a frontline player and a first-round draft pick in exchange for Howard, which interested teams were not willing to give up, Stein reports.
Houston was serious in its attempt to trade Howard, and engaged in talks with the Bucks, Heat, Celtics, Hawks, Hornets, Bulls and Mavericks, among potential others.
“Many teams called expressing great interest in trading for Dwight,” Howard's agent, Dan Fegan, told ESPN after the deadline. “The obvious stumbling block to a trade was how could a team justify giving up important assets for a player who was about to become a free agent in a few short months?
“Not surprisingly, as the deadline approached, several teams called stating they had worked out the trade parameters with Houston for a Dwight deal but were not prepared to give up their assets unless Dwight agreed to opt into the last year of his contract and forego free agency. Dwight declined.”
Howard has the option to become a free agent on July 1 by opting out of the final year of the four-year, $88 million contract he signed with the Rockets in 2013.
The 30-year-old veteran has averaged 14.6 points, 12.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in his 12th NBA season.
- Erin Flynn