Dwight Howard's name has been all over the news lately as trade rumors have once again picked up full force surrounding the superstar center.
It doesn't help matters that the Orlando Magic, Howard's current team, has gone from a perennial contender to a team that has struggled to score even 60 points in a game over the last week.
Yes, you read that right. Sixty points.
Last Monday, Jan. 23, the Magic scored a franchise-low 56 points against the Boston Celtics, who were missing Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo, among others.
Orlando is now mired in a four-game losing streak in which it is averaging just 76 points per contest. The slump forced Howard into a clubhouse rant in which he said he felt like players on the Magic didn't even act like they wanted to play.
So it's no surprise trade talks have picked up again.
Josh Robbins from the Orlando Sentinel joined David Kaplan on Tuesday's Chicago Tribune Live to discuss the possibility of Howard coming to the Bulls.
"I don't think much has changed," Robbins said. "Right now, Dwight's list of preferred destinations remains the Nets, Lakers and Mavericks. Those are the only three teams that the Magic have given Howard's rep permission to speak with. And so while Dwight might say -- and I'm paraphrasing here -- 'if God tells me to go to the Bulls, I'll go to the Bulls,' that's not really saying much. That's not really something that's new.
"So at this point, I don't really see his position changing, which probably bodes ill for Bulls fans, unfortunately for them."
There's plenty more from Robbins so be sure to check out the video.
The Bulls square off against the Sixers tonight on NBC Sports Chicago, with coverage beginning at 6:30 with Bulls Pregame Live. Here are three things to watch as the Bulls begin the stretch run of their regular season.
1. The new rotation: Most of the Bulls’ rotation looks the same, but the addition of David Nwaba, Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Payne will have a different feel. The Bulls clearly want to get a look at these guys before the end of the regular season, meaning they’re not just going to get sporadic minutes. They’ll have to play through their mistakes, play out-matched at times and be put in uncomfortable situations. But the Bulls need to see what they have, especially in Payne, who has missed the entire season to this point with a broken foot.
2. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons: They’re quite the 1-2 punch and have the Sixers looking at their first playoff appearance since Derrick Rose hadn’t yet torn an ACL. Yeah, that’s a long time. Embiid just finished his first All-Star appearance (starting in his second year) and Simmons is the front runner for Rookie of the Year. The Bulls will have their hands full with these two. Luckily…
3. Kris Dunn is back: The Bulls wanted to get Dunn some run before heading to All-Star Weekend to play in the Rising Stars Challenge, and he looked healthy in that thumping against the Raptors last week. The good news is John Paxson says Dunn won’t be on a minutes limit, which means he’s healthy. That, of course, is more important than how he’s playing. It’ll be fun to see him, LaVine and Markkanen play together down the stretch. Their numbers together aren’t great, but the Bulls are 2-2 with all three in the lineup, and tanking or not…it’s more fun to watch when those three are rolling.
On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times), Hub Arkush (ProFootball Weekly) and Jason Goch (SB Nation) join Kap on the panel.
The guys debate which team will finish with a higher draft pick when the season ends: Bulls or Blackhawks?
Plus, hear their reaction to the MLB’s new pace-of-play rule change.
Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: