In the latest major trade rumor of the season, ESPN reports that the Los Angeles Lakers may be interested in trading Dwight Howard for Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak denied the rumor saying that he has not talked to the Celtics “in weeks” and Kupchak denies having any interest in trading Howard anywhere.
This trade rumor is most definitely fabricated and I will be shocked if Howard ends up in Boston. The main reason for that is that I don’t know how the Celtics would possibly be able to re-sign him to a max contract. Even without Rondo, the Celtics already have a payroll of about $58 million next season. If a Howard max contract is thrown in, that puts the Celtics at close to $78 million. That will put Boston deep into the luxury tax penalties that they probably will not want to pay. Another reason why this trade would never happen is that I doubt that two rivals like the Celtics and Lakers would make a trade this important with each other. These two teams expect to make the finals every year and they don’t want to risk giving the other team a boost.
One reason why the Lakers would never do this is because they would pretty much be throwing away their season by making this move. Rajon Rondo clearly will not come back and play this year, so by making this trade, they are trading a 75% Dwight Howard for absolutely nothing in the short term. A team with championship aspirations like L.A. would not do that.
Even though this trade is not going to happen, it is still interesting that Dwight Howard’s name is continuing to be thrown into trade rumors even though he believes he will be staying with the Lakers for the rest of the season.
Obviously, Nets fans are wondering what the chances are that Dwight will come to Brooklyn. Chances are very small that Howard would come over in a mid-season trade unless the Nets added Brook Lopez, which they would be foolish to do. There is still a small chance that Brooklyn could try to acquire Dwight in free agency. However, in order to do that, they would need to trade at least one of their major contracts to make room to pay Howard.
Reports are still saying that Brooklyn is Howard’s #1 destination in the offseason. The question is whether or not the Nets want him there.