Dwight Howard's tenure in Houston seemed in question after the Rockets' rough start to the 2015-16 season. He struggled to find consistency for the first couple of months, both in performance and availability. But now as we approach the NBA trade deadline we're hearing that Howard is still very much a part of Houston's plans.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders names Dwight as one of the players the league can cross off their list of trade targets:
The Rockets have known since the day they landed Howard that he would be a free agent this July, and they have been planning for a new contract for Howard since they acquired him. That does not mean the Rockets will give Howard the expected $30 million maximum salary that he is eligible to receive as a free agent, but the Rockets are prepared to do a new long-term deal with the big man this summer.
Trading Howard at this point is not in the plans. There is a risk that Howard could walk away for a more lucrative package elsewhere, but there continues to be a sense around the Rockets that Howard wants to remain a Rocket and that there is a deal to be reached in July.
It sounds like the Rockets are doubling down while they've still got James Harden in the middle of his prime.