Dwight Howard finally got his wish, when he signed with the Houston Rockets, and became the official face of a franchise that makes him comfortable.
If reports are correct, Howard could have been a Rocket in early 2012 if he simply wouldn’t have opted back in. Ken Berg of CBS Sports is reporting that the Orlando Magic had a deal in place to trade Howard to Houston before the 2012 trade deadline.
League sources confirmed that the Magic and Rockets did, in fact, tentatively agree to a trade in March 2012 that both sides were prepared to follow through on had Howard forced the Magic’s hand and kept his right to opt out after the season and become a free agent. It would’ve involved at least some of the young assets that were so attractive to Howard this summer when he chose the Rockets as a free agent. (Magic officials, according to sources, later told Rockets officials that they preferred Houston’s deal to Brooklyn’s.) Thus, while Howard gave up some money in the short term to leave LA, he wound up on a roster that didn’t have to be decimated to acquire him.
Howard of course eventually was traded to L.A., and the rest is history. It simply makes the notion that Dwight Howard knew where he would eventually end up all along very plausible.