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NBA trade rumor: Rockets haggling Dwight Howard with Charlotte Hornets

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Here's what a Dwight Howard trade to the Charlotte Hornets looks like... First round pick, Al Jefferson and Marvin Williams or first round pick, Nic Batum and Spencer Hawes.

The Houston Rockets are discussing Dwight Howard to the Charlotte Hornets.
The Houston Rockets are discussing Dwight Howard to the Charlotte Hornets.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The latest trade rumor from Marc Stein has the Houston Rockets haggling with the Charlotte Hornets to trade Dwight Howard:

Such a trade would be far from a blockbuster for Rockets fans. Howard isn't fetching too many offers and the expected return for the former defensive player of the year has dwindled to a single first round pick. Which Charlotte can deliver.

Why Charlotte? Because they're going to make a run at a title or finals appearance or division title or... something? They're currently in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and whatever the goal Charlotte became very legitimate Howard contenders when they acquired Courtney Lee to help replace the loss of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist today. Dwight Howard would make a solid replacement for the disappearance of Al Jefferson, who averaged 21 and 10 just two seasons ago in 73 games.

Dwight Howard makes $9 million more than anyone on the Hornets and any trade would almost have to include either Al Jefferson, Nicolas Batum or Kemba Walker.

The Trade Charlotte Would Want:

This trade would include a Charlotte first round pick going to Houston. Charlotte currently has the 17th pick in the 2016 draft.

Al Jefferson's career has gone MIA and he's a free agent at the end of this year. Marvin Williams has never been much to crow about and would be shipped to Houston to make the salary work along with a Charlotte first round pick. In return Houston ships out Dwight Howard and Terrence Jones, who is likely to split Houston after this season as a restricted free agent and who can help provide power forward minutes for the Hornets.

The Trade Houston Would Want:

This trade would include a Charlotte first round pick going to Houston. Charlotte currently has the 17th pick in the 2016 draft.

At age 27 Batum is a catch compared to Jefferson. He's a five tool player who has undergone a resurgence in Charlotte after a disappointing season in Portland. Batum is only two seasons removed from averaging 13 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 5 apg, 1 spg and 1 bpg. Batum is a free agent after this season and will command a respectable contract. The Rockets might gamble that he'll take a lower offer from Houston because there's a better chance to win in the future.

If Batum wouldn't want to stay in Houston at least his salary comes off the books right away and Houston has as much money as possible to play with in free agency.

There's a chance the Hornets would force Houston to take Spencer Hawes instead of Marvin Williams to make this happen. Hawes has been entirely uninspiring since leaving the 76ers many years ago, but was labeled a floor stretching big man before that.

Thoughts on either of these trades? Or what Houston should be asking Charlotte for?

UPDATE: