NBA Trade Rumors: Rockets Reportedly Making Strong Push for Dwight Howard

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IJuly 7, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28: Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic looks on against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 28, 2012 in New York City. 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 Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

If the Houston Rockets are not able to obtain superstar center Dwight Howard this offseason, it will not be for a lack of effort.

The Rockets are in the midst of a flurry of trade activity that is apparently entirely geared toward them prying the Magic's prized big man from Orlando.

CBS Sports' Ken Berger shed some light on the pursuit:

The Houston Rockets continue to push hard to acquire draft picks and cap space in an effort to provide a package of assets that will entice the Orlando Magic to trade Dwight Howard, league sources told Saturday.

One of the reasons Houston traded point guard Kyle Lowry to Toronto for what essentially is a guaranteed lottery pick was to sweeten the pot in a potential Howard trade, sources said. In discussions with the Knicks, Heat and now Nets about a sign-and-trade for Marcus Camby, the Rockets are hoping to accumulate more picks to make their trade package for Howard more attractive.

If the Magic want a return of youth for Howard, they clearly are going to have a hard time beating the Rockets' offer and bounty of picks. 

However, one has to wonder seriously what exactly the Rockets are thinking.

They are trading players left and right from a team that was two games over .500 last season, but this isn't the baffling part—it is clear they needed a couple of major shakeups to get this team to a championship level. 

What is more curious is that they are doing all this just in the hopes of acquiring one player, Dwight Howard. 

Howard has just a year left on his deal, and there is very little reason to think that he would be interested in extending that deal to be a Houston Rocket, especially in light of his recent comments to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports that he'd only re-sign with one team (believed to be the Brooklyn Nets).

Even if Howard did sign an extension with the Rockets, then what? They are going to need a lot more than Superman to contend, and their most valuable pieces would already have been traded in the deal for Howard. 

The Rockets get an A for effort. Now, they just need to hope their effort is not rewarded with their desired prize, or that is the only A grade they will be getting.