Does anybody really even want Dwight Howard on the Bulls?
(The Sporting News)–The Orlando Magic are not enamored with the packages they could get from the New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks or Los Angeles Lakers—the three teams understood to be on Dwight Howard’s list of preferred teams—and would rather trade the All-Star big man to the Chicago Bulls, CBS Sports.com reports. But talks between Orlando and Chicago have gained little traction since Howard is not willing to make a long-term commitment to the Bulls, according to the report. The Bulls, sources tell CBS Sports, could offer Omer Asik, Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer for Howard and Hedo Turkoglu. Chicago also has a Charlotte Bobcats first-round pick, but it’s top-14 protected this year and not unprotected until 2016. The Magic wants to make a deal with the Bulls because of the assets they can offer, but Howard isn’t willing to sign a long-term contract with Chicago. But Chicago is “not on his list,” a source told CBS, and the Bulls are not willing to part with those assets without assurance that Howard will sign a new contract with them. The two teams have spoken, but there’s “no type of serious discussions” happening, a source said. The CBS report does not say why Howard doesn’t want to play in Chicago. Howard previously implied, albeit unconvincing, that he was open to playing with the Bulls and point guard Derrick Rose. “If I could play with Derrick right now and God wanted that to happen, it will happen,” Howard told the Chicago Tribune in January. “It has nothing to do with me not wanting to play with Derrick Rose. I love him. That’s my brother.” Yahoo! Sports reported in December that Adidas is exerting its influence on where Howard ends up and that the shoe company does not want Howard and Rose—its two primary NBA endorsers—playing in the same market. Howard has denied this. Hoopsworld’s Alex Kennedy offers this, via Twitter, “Why doesn’t Dwight Howard want to play in Chicago? He wants to be the man, not sidekick. Derrick Rose, hometown kid with MVP, outshines him. “Don’t get me wrong, Howard wants help. He knows he can’t win a championship alone. With that said, he wants to be the face of the franchise.”