With the Houston Rockets currently enduring an underwhelming season and the NBA trade deadline under one week away, speculation surrounding the future of Dwight Howard was almost inevitable.
There have been reports this week, namely from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, that the Texas franchise is shopping the perennial All-Star ahead of the February 18 deadline.
That, though, appears to be news to both Howard and his agent, Dan Fegan, who have both pledged the star's allegiance to the Rockets in the past 24 hours.
"I'm not privy to what the Rockets are doing or not doing with respect to Dwight Howard," Fegan said, via ESPN's Marc Stein. "What I can say, with 100 percent certainty, is that Dwight has not and has never asked the Rockets for a trade. And neither have I."
Fegan's statement contradicts the report from Wojnarowski who, citing sources at Houston, claimed the agent was working with the Rockets to find a new home for Howard.
The 30-year-old himself, however, has gone on record to state he isn't angling for a move away:
"Dan's statement is true. I have not asked the Rockets to trade me. Nor have I talked about right trades," Howard said, again to Stein.
"I want to win. I want this situation to work. I chose this team. And I'm not running because we have been faced with some adversity."
With Howard able to opt-out of his current contract at the end of the 2015-16 season and become an unrestricted free agent, it is thought the Rockets have concerns about his commitment to the team.
NBA LEAGUE PASS ALL-STAR WEEKEND OFFER:
NBA All-Star 2016 is here and NBA LEAGUE PASS brings you the All-Star action from 12th-15th February directly to your computer, mobile or tablet, live and on-demand with a special All-Star package.
For only £8.99, you can see the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, February 15th, plus other big events of the weekend including the Verizon Slam Dunk contest, the Foot Locker Three Point contest, the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, and the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.
To purchase your special NBA LEAGUE PASS All-Star package, please visit here.