Dwight Howard would reportedly leave the Houston Rockets after next season if traded there. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Houston Rockets might want to rethink trying to pull off that run at a blockbuster trade for Dwight Howard.
NBA.com's David Aldridge reported late Monday, citing a "source with knowledge of Howard’s thinking," that there was “not a chance” Howard would stay in Houston for more than one season. The source told Aldridge that he would leave as an unrestricted free agent after next season.
ESPN.com reported Sunday that the Rockets were trying to acquire two top 10 picks in a furious attempt to swing a deal for Howard in advance of Thursday's NBA Draft. The Rockets currently own the No. 14 and No. 16 picks in the draft.
Aldridge reported that the Rockets are enamored enough with acquiring Howard that they don't mind operating under little certainty beyond this season. League sources told Aldridge that the Rockets have included both stars Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry in trade talks. Aldridge breaks down one potential deal thrown out by a source:
One potential deal, according to a league source, would send Martin to Minnesota–presumably for the Wolves’ 18th pick in the first round–where Martin would play for former Rockets coach Rick Adelman; Martin had success playing for Adelman during their years together in Houston.
What is unclear leading up to Thursday, however, is if new Magic general manager Rob Hennigan is willing to part with Howard so quickly into his tenure. For his part, Howard has offered no sign that he plans to sign a long-term contract with the Magic.