There have been many rumors lately which link the Houston Rockets' center Dwight Howard to the Miami Heat. Apparently, Howard is not satisfied with the situation in Houston and he wants out. The Rockets have been having an awful season so far and are currently at 12-14 record. Howard has played in 20 games this season, averaging 12.6 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. Although his numbers are relatively low, it is important to note that he takes only 8.3 shots per game. Howard has also been battling injuries recently, so he is yet to play at his best.
What makes this trade hard for the Heat is Howard's salary, which is $22.3 million this year. This means that Miami would have to offer many players to get him. The Heat would most likely have to trade Luol Deng, whose salary is over $10 million, and Chris Andersen, who has a $5-million contract, yet isn't part of the team's rotation. Miami they would also have to give up some more valuable assets for the Rockets to accept the offer, which means giving up on Hassan Whiteside and probably the rookie Justise Winslow. Considering latest happenings between Whiteside and the Heat and the team's history with rookies, it might not be impossible.
NBA veteran writer, Chris Sheridan, predicted that Howard will be wearing the Heat uniform by the end of February. Considering that Howard has a player option on his contract, the Rockets would be better off by trading him and getting some valuable pieces in return. Otherwise, if he doesn't opt-in to another year of the contract, they will lose him for nothing. It's a fact that Howard hasn't had a great time in Houston and his dominance has diminished over the last few years. Could he regain it with the Miami Heat?
On the other side, the Heat will not be able to offer a maximum contract to Hassan Whiteside next season and he will most likely be a max player. If they trade him this season, they could get something valuable in return. If they keep him on the team, it will be up to Whiteside to decide which team he will sign with, and it will most likely not be Miami if they cannot offer him the contract he deserves.
Heat made a big move on a trade deadline day last season when they brought Goran Dragic to the South Beach. Many though that there is zero chance for the Heat of landing Dragic, yet they managed to do it while not even trading any of their key players. Dwight Howard trade is definitely a possibility for the Miami Heat, so we will wait and see what Pat Riley does about it.