The Houston Rockets continue to eye trade deals at the deadline with most of the talk surrounding Dwight Howard. The team has made it known that the center is available for the taking, but his salary and injury history do not help the pursuit. The Rockets are slipping from contention in the Western Conference and breaking up the roster might help bring some positive change. However, getting a deal for Howard might be too hard to acquire.
According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, teams interested in Howard are finding it impossible to put together a trade package that meets both the league's standards and the requests of the Rockets. Most recently, the Charlotte Hornets have tossed their name in to the ring for a potential deal. ESPN.com reported the two sides have had exploratory talks for Howard, but nothing has progressed from there. The Hornets are trying to unload bench players which will not get a deal done for the center.
The issue for Houston is Howard is set to earn $22.3 million this season with a player option of $23.3 million next year that is expected to get declined. Teams might be interested, but giving up assets will not get a deal done. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported the Heat were interested in swapping Howard for Hassan Whiteside, but the team would have to give up around five players to make the deal work in terms of contracts. As a result, the chances are high that Howard stays put. Howard maintains that he is fine staying in Houston.
"I have not asked the Rockets to trade me, nor have I talked about right trades. I want to win. I want this situation to work. I chose this team. And I'm not running because we have been faced with some adversity," Howard said, via ESPN.com.
The Rockets have options if they want to get a trade done. Trevor Ariza is beginning to turn heads. Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that the Cleveland Cavaliers have shown interest in Ariza while also looking at players like Omri Casspi and Kyle Korver. Corey Brewer is another player that is gaining attention at the deadline.
According to CBSSports.com, Brewer is an option to trade if Ariza stays put. The two players have been rotating in the starting role for the Rockets prior to the All-Star break. Brewer would be a cheap trade for a team while offering a big upgrade on the bench. Ariza might cost a team a little bit more while offering better production. The Rockets might not be able to make a deal work for Howard, but they have trade options to shake up the roster.