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Report: Dwight Howard wanted to come to Bucks at trade deadline, but wouldn’t opt-in

Dwight howard

John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards drives with the basketball against James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets during their game at the Toyota Center on January 30, 2016 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. *** Local Caption *** John Wall; James Harden

Scott Halleran

The rumors had already been confirmed by his former agent: Dwight Howard was shopped hard at the trade deadline but nothing came of it because he could become a free agent this summer and would not opt-in to the final year of his contract. While he denies it (as did the Rockets), the rumor is James Harden pushed for the team to find a Howard trade.

Now Howard himself has confirmed he was almost traded — to the Milwaukee Bucks. Part-time Bucks announcer Gus Johnson, who was announcing the game Monday against Houston, had the story during the broadcast.

That deal likely would have centered around Greg Monroe heading to Houston, a swap of centers that haven’t worked out as well as hoped.

However, Monroe is in the first year of his new contract so you can understand why the Bucks didn’t want to give him up for a half-season rental of Howard — Milwaukee would have wanted the assurance of Howard for at least one more season (and at his current price).

More than be traded, Howard wants to get paid this summer — he wants a max salary, which will start at around $30 million a year (depending on the exact salary cap number). A lot of teams, likely including Milwaukee, will be hesitant to pay that much (or do so for four years). Howard has switched agents, but that’s not going to change an interesting market dynamic for Howard this summer.