Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Teams That May Try to "Rent" the Center

Hunter Konsens@HunterKonsensCorrespondent IIMarch 6, 2012

Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Teams That May Try to "Rent" the Center

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    For the last few years now, Dwight Howard's long-term future in Orlando has been cloudy to say the least. This season, however, his intentions seem more clear as many expect the all-NBA talent to bolt O-Town.

    Howard's reason for leaving the city that drafted him first overall is the aging, weak supporting cast around him. Whether you believe this gripe or not, as there are rumors that Howard is interested in finding a larger city to become more marketable, Howard's time in Orlando is in some serious question.

    So who will acquire the perennial All-Star if he leaves Orlando?

    Well, the teams on Dwight's preferred destination list (the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey Nets) undoubtedly have the best chance to snag the league's best center. However, there are a number of teams who have expressed interest in Howard, despite no assurance he will sign long-term with him.

    In fact, the teams with the best trading assets are the squads that want to "rent" the big man for one year. So without further ado, here are the teams that have expressed or should express interest in Howard. 

Houston Rockets

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    It is surprising that there are no trade rumors regarding Dwight Howard going to the Houston Rockets. After all, the Houston Rockets are a fringe playoff squad that has a very little chance to make a deep run in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.

    Plus, the Rockets have already been rumored to be interested in acquiring a center, as they have been aggressively pursuing the Lakers' Pau Gasol.

    Not only do the Houston Rockets possess the pieces to acquire Howard, as a package of Kevin Martin, Kyle Lowry, young talent and draft picks is extremely enticing, but they are located in one of the bigger NBA markets. 

Golden State Warriors

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    The Golden State Warriors have been quite vocal in their desire to acquire Howard as a rental. Despite the Orlando Magic superstar expressing his disinterest in playing for the Warriors, Golden State has been rumored to be active in acquiring the All-Star.

    In my opinion, the Orlando Magic need to listen to offers made by this organization and keep their mind open even though Dwight's is shut. The Warriors have many established players, including electric shooting guard Monta Ellis, sharpshooter Stephen Curry and power forward David Lee, and many young, intriguing prospects.

Portland Trail Blazers

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    The Portland Trail Blazers are in a state of flux. Despite starting the season in fantastic fashion, the Trail Blazers sunk back to being a fringe playoff team in the competitive Western Conference. Plus, there are reports that Nate McMillan, once considered one of the better coaches in the league, may be on his way out of town. 

    After losing both Greg Oden to another season-ending injury and superstar Brandon Roy to retirement, the Trail Blazers may be looking for a major change in the roster to solve their woes. 

    One way the Blazers can change their losing ways is to acquire all-NBA talent Dwight Howard. Sure, Howard may not want to sign long-term, but there is no doubt that Portland needs a makeover. 

Boston Celtics

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    “They have the championship mentality,” Howard told Comcast SportsNet New England of the Celtics. “It means a lot. Like I said, I like the team. They play hard and they go after it, and that’s what I like.”

    A few weeks ago, Dwight Howard discussed the possibility of signing with the Boston Celtics. Despite not being on his preferred destination list, Howard expressed that he is open to signing with them this offseason.

    However, the Boston Celtics should pursue Howard right now. After all, the Celtics will most likely have to face either the Miami Heat or Chicago Bulls if they want to make it to the NBA Finals. Unless they find the Fountain of Youth, the Celtics would probably not be able to be competitive against either of those teams in a seven-game series.

    If the Celtics want to acquire Howard, they would probably have to exchange all of their massive expiring contracts. Plus, the Magic will probably try to dump some of their cumbersome contracts on the Celts.

Atlanta Hawks

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    The Atlanta Hawks, despite being located in Howard's hometown, have never really been considered a favorite for the Orlando Magic big man. Nonetheless, a Howard-Atlanta reunion makes a ton of sense.

    First of all, one of Howard's childhood friends, athletic power forward Josh Smith, plays on the team. A frontcourt of Smith and Howard would be dominant on both sides of the ball.

    Second, "Superman" went to school at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, a high school located in the Atlanta area.

    Lastly, the Hawks possess numerous quality trade assets that could be packaged to obtain Howard.

    However, the Magic will probably be reluctant to trade their superstar to arguably their biggest rival.

Charlotte Bobcats

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    In the end, why not?

    The Charlotte Bobcats are on pace to become one of the worst teams in NBA history, as they currently have a 4-31 record. Even though they have many quality prospects in their rotation, the team lacks in a plethora of crucial pieces. 

    By adding Howard, the Bobcats will spark interest in Charlotte, a predominately college basketball city, and become somewhat competitive.

    However, it would take a lot more than just Howard to bring this team back to relevancy.