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NBA trade rumor: Celtics have talked to the Rockets about Dwight Howard

Well, he is a rim protecting big man.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Not sure how much weight to put behind this rumor, but Frank Isola is reporting that the Celtics have "engaged" the Rockets about Dwight Howard.

Isola: What's the point? Knicks need backcourt help - NY Daily News

Meanwhile, the Celtics have engaged the Houston Rockets in talks about a possible deal for Dwight Howard, the Daily News has learned. Howard can opt out of his contract this summer, and considering his back and knee issues, it doesn’t make much sense for Boston GM Danny Ainge to use the assets on a player with declining skills and a battered body.

For all the reasons that Isola mentions, I wouldn't want to give up much in the way of assets to acquire Howard.  Certainly not any of the Nets picks.  But if Houston is eager to move him and it doesn't cost us much, this could be an option at the trade deadline.

David Lee is an obvious inclusion in any deal just to match up salaries. Howard makes $22M so more would have to be added in.  I would imagine that the Rockets would want draft considerations as well.  Houston is currently in 7th place in the West but might decide that they don't have enough to compete with the Warriors and Spurs and make a move to get something for Howard before he leaves as a free agent.

Howard is averaging 14.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game with a PER of 20.4.

If Boston makes a move for the 30 year old Howard, they'll likely be looking to re-sign him in the offseason.  A risky proposition considering his health issues over the years.

Currently I'm going to consider this one of many trade rumors that are bound to pop up in the next couple of weeks.

Keep in mind that the Celtics could get involved in a 3 team trade where Howard goes to another team. (Can you tell I'm not crazy about this idea?)

Update: Mike Gorman seems to confirm that there's "interest" from the Celtics.

Update 2: Blakely: Howard talks only in 'negotiation phase' A. Sherrod Blakely: Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets are just in the 'negotiation phase' of Dwight Howard trade talks Comcast SportsNet -

The reported interest on the Boston Celtics’ part in Houston’s Dwight Howard is accurate, but talks (for now at least) aren’t expected to go much further than the discussion phase of negotiations, according to a league source.

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