ATLANTA, GA - FILE: Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic reacts after a turnover to the Atlanta Hawks during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. It was reported that the Orlando Magic have taken Dwight Howard off the market citing that none of the offers were worth pursuing December 14, 2011. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Going into the trade deadline, there were two players Rockets fans had their eyes on most: Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol. Daryl Morey and his front office had been eyeing these guys for months, and fans were hoping to land one of them to shake up this barely above average roster.
All indications are that the Rockets tried desperately to acquire them both until outside factors stopped their pursuits. In the case of Howard, the star center signed a waiver taking away his power to opt out after this season, and a trade of Pau Gasol to acquire a point guard was not necessary after the Lakers landed Ramon Sessions from Cleveland.
Now, with Dwight Howard turning the Magic into a circus, the Magic may revisit trade talks. According to the New York Post, the Magic may give Dwight Howard an ultimatum to sign an extension before training camp or look to trade him again. Could the Rockets jump into the fray?
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Here's what the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen had to say:
There would seem little reason for the Magic to move Howard before next season, especially if they are willing to fire a fine coach to appease him. But if the uncertainty that inspired the trade talks last month remains until the next trade deadline, those talks would likely be renewed.
The Rockets would go back to the beginning, trying to outbid all the teams that would want the league's best center. In their case, that would likely have to be - as it was last month - without a guarantee that they could keep him. But they had the Magic interested once; they could again.
The Rockets front office has generally strayed away from bad clubhouse guys after enduring the Terrence Williams era, surprisingly opting out of trade talks with Sacramento for DeMarcus Cousins and instead opting for high character guys like Marcus Camby. However, the Rockets' front office has been positioning itself to make a move for a star for years, and Howard's talent makes him a commodity too difficult to pass up.
Even though there's a sizable chance that Howard bolts in a year, the possibility of landing the league's best center in his prime is a chance worth taking in my eyes. All we've heard from the media is about Howard's lust for New Jersey, but he is a notoriously unstable personality. Perhaps a title run with the Rockets could change his mind.
Perhaps not, but what's the downside? It's not like the Rockets would be blowing up a championship roster to land Howard, they could get down to the tanking so many are desperately pleading for if the acquisition doesn't work out.
What say you, Rockets fans? Do you still want Howard or is he too much of a headcase? Sound off in the comments!