Remember when Kevin Garnett didn't want to get traded to the Celtics? When his preferred destination was the Lakers? When he was almost traded there? Well, Danny Ainge was able to change his mind by trading for Ray Allen. Then, not only would Garnett be forming a duo with Paul Pierce by going to Boston, but along with Allen, they formed a Big Three. The point is, teaming up with two other stars is enough appeal to go to a team that you previously did not want to go to.
Same thing with LeBron James. Before he made his final Decision, LeBron was trying to court Chris Bosh to join him in Cleveland. I'm not sure whether or not he was planning on going to the Heat all along, but once Bosh decided to team up with Wade, LeBron immediately decided that he too would take his talents to South Beach.
What does this have to do with Dwight Howard? As of now, his list of preferred destinations include LA, Dallas, and NJ/Brooklyn. Note that none of those teams have more than one star already. Even LA, with Gasol and Bynum to go along with Kobe, would have to dump one of them to be able to afford Kobe. And the Nets can't guarantee that D-Will will be on their roster next year either.
Following this year, the Celtics one star will be Rajon Rondo, with Paul Pierce still around as well. In order to convince Dwight to come to Boston, Danny Ainge will have to bring someone in a la Ray Allen a few years ago. The specific person I'm thinking of is recently-traded New Orleans Hornets SG Eric Gordon. Gordon is a fantastic young player, and he is a RFA following this season. The Hornets would be able to give him a qualifying offer, but I doubt the ownerless franchise can outbid the offer that Wyc Grousbeck can make. Once Gordon is on the team, I believe Howard would be much more open to signing with Boston, who at that point would have 2 young stars in Rondo and Gordon, as well as Pierce and ex-teammate Brandon Bass also signed.
Now, I understand that there are a few things that must happen for this to be possible. One is that neither Howard nor Gordon are either traded nor signed long term before the end of the season. NO just traded for Gordon, I don't think they are letting him go so soon. And for some reason Otis Smith seems to think that Dwight Howard will resign with Orlando after the season, so he won't trade him either. Basically, if all goes right, the Celtics have an opportunity to reestablish itself once again as the best team in the NBA going forward. Whether or not this specific scenario plays out, I am sure Ainge will make some moves to make the team better. Good things happen to teams under the salary cap.
Assuming that the Celtics sign both Gordon and Howard long term, perhaps Ainge can also convince KG and Allen to come back for another year or two. They won't make much money anywhere, Boston could sign them cheap.
In this scenario, this is the Celtic's roster next year:
PG: Rondo, Bradley, Moore
SG: Gordon, Allen
SF: Pierce, Green
PF: Garnett, Bass, Johnson
C: Howard, _______
How's that for an offseason?