Dwight Howard trades fell through because he wouldn’t opt in
Dwight Howard remained with the Rockets through Thursday’s trade deadline, but that does not mean the team is happy to have kept him.
ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that Houston had been “aggressively” pursuing trades for Howard since before the start of the All-Star break. They discussed deals with the Celtics, Hawks, Hornets, Bulls, Mavericks and Bucks, but nothing came together because of disagreement over compensation or Howard’s contract.
Dan Fegan, Howard’s agent, told ESPN.com that multiple teams agreed to terms with the Rockets but backed out because Howard would not agree to opt into the final deal of his contract.
“Not surprisingly, as the deadline approached, several teams called stating they had worked out the trade parameters with Houston for a Dwight deal but were not prepared to give up their assets unless Dwight agreed to opt in to the last year of his contract and forego free agency,” Fegan explained. “Dwight declined.”
Fegan would not say which teams came to agreement with Houston, but Stein reports that the Bucks were one of them.
Howard has a player option for the 2016-2017 season that is worth $23.3 million. That will be a bargain when the salary cap dramatically increases this summer, and the 30-year-old has every intention of seeking a new max contract that will be worth somewhere in the range of $30 million annually.
One team reportedly had character concerns over Howard, and it’s unclear if that played a role.
In any event, Howard will in all likelihood become a free agent in a few months.