NBA Trade Rumors: Rejecting Bulls Shows Dwight Howard Isn't Committed to Winning

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 06:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic smiles during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Amway Center on February 6, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

It is becoming increasingly clear that All-Star center Dwight Howard no longer wants to be a member of the Orlando Magic. With his recent dismissal of the Chicago Bulls, however, it doesn't appear as though he has a true commitment to winning.

According to Seth Gruen of the Chicago Sun-Times, Howard appears to have ruled out signing with the Bulls should he be traded there. When asked if he had thoughts about going to Chicago, Howard had little to say other than a snide comment about the weather.

"Nah, it’s pretty cold here," Howard said.

Perhaps Howard meant it as a joke, but his stance on Chicago has consistently seemed to be that he has no interest in going there. When you think about it, that is quite odd coming from a player who supposedly wants to win. The Bulls are currently the best team in the Eastern Conference, and with "Superman" on board, they would likely be the favorite to win the NBA Championship.

Even so, Howard has given no indication that he would sign with the Bulls. Chicago could, of course, trade for him anyway and attempt to convince him to re-sign, but that would be a very dangerous game since the Bulls would likely have to give up two of Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng in return.

With no guarantee or even an inkling that Howard would sign an extension, the Bulls simply can't afford to take that chance. They are already on the verge of possibly winning a title, and blowing it up in order to acquire a player who may not be committed to the cause is something that can't happen.

Again, though, it begs the question of whether or not Howard truly wants to win. He has used winning as an excuse for why he may not re-sign with the Magic, but perhaps that is just a smokescreen. He clearly doesn't have a great supporting cast, so it's a logical argument to make, but why would he rule out Chicago?

There has also been talk that he wants go to a team where he can be the main guy. He would obviously have to share the spotlight with reigning MVP Derrick Rose in Chicago, but if being the superstar is so important to him, then why leave Orlando in the first place? He is already the center of attention, so he has what he claims to want.

Also, if being the top dog is so important, then why are the Dallas Mavericks considered one of his top desired destinations? The Mavs are Dirk Nowitzki's team, and while Howard is younger and will be around longer than Nowitzki, Dirk figures to be the team's centerpiece for the foreseeable future.

Ultimately, it's impossible to tell what Howard truly wants. If he really does want to win, then that's great, but he can't expect to go to a contending team without having to share the spotlight with one or multiple players. That would be the case with the Bulls, but he and Rose would essentially be equals.

If there is any credence to his comment about Chicago being cold, then perhaps his main concern is going somewhere with a nice climate. If that is the case, then his commitment to winning should be questioned even further.

There doesn't seem to be a single location in the league that can cater to all of Howard's desire, and the fact that he continually spurns Chicago proves that.