For a long time it looked like the Brooklyn Nets were going to do whatever it took to get Howard. However, after signing Brook Lopez to four-year $60 million contract, it appears that deal will not happen.
Several teams have had at least some interest, but the Magic are going to make sure that they get what they think is a fair deal before they let Howard go.
Howard, who signed a one-year option this past season, has said that the only team he would re-sign with is Brooklyn. That statement has kept some teams away, while others are willing to risk having him for just one season, hoping to convince him otherwise. It has been confusing, and it seems like it could drag on even longer. Someone will eventually come up with the right price for Howard, but the question is who?
The Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic have exchanged trade proposals in the past, but the two sides have apparently reconstructed their offers in order to make the trade more attractive to the Magic. The Rockets also decided recently to use their amnesty clause on Luis Scola to clear up extra cap room for Howard.
Now, according to a report by Mark Ford and Chad Stein, the Rockets are willing to take on a lot more salary from the Magic.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Rockets, should they go ahead with their widely reported plans to release starting power forward Luis Scola via the NBA's amnesty clause, are prepared to absorb the contracts of Jason Richardson, Glen Davis and Chris Duhon -- in addition to sending Orlando multiple future first-round picks and recent draftees -- to give the Magic an opportunity to wipe their payroll virtually clean for their post-Howard rebuilding effort.
According to the report, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is trying to juggle things around in order to be able to absorb salary along with taking on Howard. On Friday, the Rockets are expected to formally waive Scola and finalize their offer sheet to free agent point guard Jeremy Lin of which the New York Knicks are expected to match.
In the proposed deal, the Rockets would likely take on at least three of Richardson, Davis, Duhon or Hedo Turkoglu. In return, according to the report, the Magic would get back Kevin Martin, Patrick Patterson, Marcus Morris and Chandler Parsons to make the salary-cap work and would give up the draft rights to 2012 first round picks Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones.
Hall of Famer and TNT commentator Charles Barkley was been a vocal supporter of Howard at times in the past, but even he is starting to get sick of the situation.
"I love Dwight Howard as a person and as a player, but he's getting on my last damn nerve." Barkley said on Philadelphia radio station 97.5 The Fanatic.
Barkley said he was getting caught up on the American sports scene after a recent trip to England and was overwhelmed by the amount of coverage of Howard. "The last 24 hours it's been all Dwight Howard, non-stop," Barkley said. "It's not fun; nobody wants to hear it. It's not good for the game, not good for the fans. I'm really sick of it."
While he may love Howard "as a person and as a player," Barkley has not been afraid to criticize the star center this offseason. Two weeks ago, Barkley told ESPN Dallas that Howard "needs to grow up and make a decision."