NBA trade deadline: Dwight Howard and 3 others who could be on the move

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On Thursday evening at 8pm GMT (3pm US Eastern time) the NBA's Trade Deadline will close until the offseason, leaving teams frantically attempting to finish deals.

For teams in the Eastern Conference there lies the possibility of leapfrogging many sides around them, as although most teams in the East are good, there is only one truly elite franchise, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But the case can be made that a major trade for some currently in that 'good' bracket could transform them into a serious contender to win the East. Here are four of the biggest names who could potentially move before the trade deadline:

Dwight Howard

The Houston Rockets have reportedly been sourcing whether teams would be willing to trade for Howard for a few weeks, as it seems Rockets GM Daryl Morey's belief that he can help win a title has waned.

It was reported on Tuesday night that the Charlotte Hornets had approached the Rockets over a possible deal, but the two franchises could not agree on an appropriate package.

Before Charlotte's interest was reported there were three clear teams who had been linked with the 30-year-old: Boston, Miami and Washington.

All three are teams who are in the section of being one trade away from contention in the East, although Washington are currently just outside the playoffs after suffering injuries to key players in the first half of the season.


Then the question is, who really wants Howard?

Howard is a player who has missed a large amount of games in the past three seasons due to persistent back and knee problems, and because of this his on-court production has suffered.

It would be a bold move for any team, and with Howard out of contract in the summer, it's unlikely they would be willing to give up major pieces for the expensive center, even though he may provide a few months of good production ahead of free agency.

Markieff Morris

Morris has been the subject of a possible trade ever since his twin brother Marcus was dealt to the Detroit Pistons ahead of this season.

The two have always been extremely close, so much so they signed a cheaper than market value joint-contact with Phoenix in order to stay together.

Markieff was then left devastated with the team's decision to move Marcus on and requested a trade immediately.

Phoenix stuck with their power forward, however, it was clear for much of this season that his long-term future does not lie with the Suns.

This was particularly clear after Morris had a falling out with head coach Jeff Hornacek, who has since departed, which resulted in him throwing a towel at his coach when substituted during a game in December.

The Suns are apparently after more than just a draft pick for Morris, which could leave Houston as a possible destination as they have two young power forwards, Donatas Motiejunas and Terrence Jones, who could be used as makeweights.

Al Horford

Atlanta had an incredibly successful campaign last year as they unexpectedly reached the Eastern Conference Finals after finishing with the second-best record in the NBA.

However, it appears the Hawks may already be looking to move on from that team, as they look to hand over the reigns to young backup point guard Dennis Schroder, instead of Jeff Teague.

This means the team may also be looking to ship center Al Horford, who is attracting interest from both Boston and Miami.

Horford is a center who is adept at many skills, including the ability to stretch the floor well enough with solid three-point shooting, 34% from long distance so far this season, and would be a great asset to any contender.

Hassan Whiteside

Miami seems to be signaling that they do not want to pay Whiteside, who is on a meager contract of less than $1m per season, which expires this summer, which means he is likely to a piece in any possible trade for Howard or Horford.

Either of those two centers joining the Heat would take them close to Cleveland’s level in the East, assuming Chris Bosh’s possible blood clots are not season-threatening.

It remains to be seen how serious Bosh’s injury is, as that could well define any move the Heat make in the final 24 hours of dealings.

More to come...

One thing is for certain, after all, the action on Tuesday alone, it looks set to be a frantic deadline day for general manager’s across the NBA.

Eastern Conference
Al Horford
Atlanta Hawks
Southeast Division
Phoenix Suns
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Houston Rockets
Southwest Division
Hassan Whiteside
Miami Heat
Dwight Howard
Markieff Morris

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