Houston Rockets Daily Rocket Science: Is Howard Tradable?


Dwight Howard is officially on the block, but he may not be as valuable an asset as the Rockets hoped.

The All-Star weekend has come and gone, and it won’t be too long before the Houston Rockets have to start playing basketball again. This break has been much needed, and I don’t know if I’m ready to continue watching the team struggle to maintain .500.

The biggest news in the Rockets’ circuit (and perhaps of the entire NBA) is that Dwight Howard has been shopped around to the entire league. There have been discussions with multiple teams according to multiple sources, but no source has reported any leads. All of the trade talk will all be over within just a couple of days, so stay tuned.

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Though there hasn’t been much information released, it is becoming more and more apparent that Superman may not be as tradable as one might initially think. GM Daryl Morey has contacted several teams, but none of them have been takers thus far. As Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report pointed out, Howard may be the NBA’s most untradable star. His age, personality, and contract situation forces the Rockets to deal from a position of inferiority.

"He’s on the wrong side of 30 and has undergone knee and back operations, plus a torn labrum that he rehabilitated without surgery. If it’s going to take a max contract, one starting around $31 million with annual raises for the next four or five years, well…that’s just not a risk that makes much sense. Not for a player currently averaging 14.6 points (the second-lowest total of his career) and holding down the middle of the No. 26 defense in the league, per  . NBA.com"

As I’ve mentioned before, Trevor Ariza’s is another name that’s been tossed around. The Cleveland Cavaliers have expressed interest, and a trade could take place. While he’s been one of the most consistent producers for Houston this season, Morey probably wouldn’t hesitate to give him up if he thought there was value to be obtained. As my fellow Space City Scoop writer Coty Davis argued, the Cavs may not be the only team that could be a good destination for Ariza.

"If Howard is traded or walks during free agency, Superman’s departure will leave Houston with another huge void to fill. With reports that the   currently have   and   on the trading block, perhaps it may be the best available trade for the 2009 NBA champion. ( ) Milwaukee Bucks Greg Monroe Michael Carter-Williams Los Angeles Lakers"

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If there’s any hope for fans as the Rockets enter into the rest of the season, it’s that super star James Harden is still holding on to hope for his team. As Mike Bohn of USA Today reported, the Beard still thinks the season can be salvaged. There have been missing pieces throughout most of this campaign, and Harden believes that, if the team can find some consistency in its roster, there is still time to turn things around.

“Hopefully guys are mentally locked in and focused and ready to close the season out the right way,” Harden said. “Hopefully we can get (Donatas Motiejūnas) back. He was a big key to our success this year. You get ‘D-Mo’ back healthy with the right mindset from the entire team and we got a chance.”

– James Harden

It could be that Harden is being overly optimistic, but there was a time in Rockets past when a midseason trade brought the team to championship level. Following their ’94 title, Houston was doing a poor job of defending their status. That is, until they traded for Clyde Drexler. The team went on to win their second consecutive NBA Finals.

There aren’t many parallels that could be drawn between this year’s squad and the ’95 champions, but it gives us as fans something to think about for the next couple of days. If Howard ends up being more tradable than he appears to be or if another deal is struck up, things could get interesting.

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Next: Should the Houston Rockets Trade the Next Generation?

With the trade deadline around the corner, make sure you visit Space City Scoop on a daily basis for our trade series. Each day, SCS will feature an article on who the Rockets should trade for or what it would take to part ways with the players currently on the roster. Finally, we’ll assess the Rockets and each team in the Association in terms of what their needs are, if they should be buyers or sellers, and also speculate on who would be the ideal trade target.