Dwight Howard’s trade value is at its all-time low. According to Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN, the Atlanta Hawks are going to have a hard time selling the former three-time Defensive Player of the Year whose role diminished under head coach Mike Budenholzer. Arnovitz said he asked at least eight NBA executives about the trade packages the Hawks will be getting should they decide to deal Howard elsewhere. The overwhelming answer came out a bit surprising for a former All-NBA and All-Defensive team member, as executives believe Howard is only good for a second-round pick and cap relief.

Trading Howard

Howard’s still sizable contract ($47M) and his fading efficiency in an era where pace-and-space has become the bread-and-butter system of almost all NBA teams, are viewed as the main culprits behind his surprisingly poor trade value. Then again, not all hope is lost for the Hawks and Howard. Arnovitz thinks the Hawks can still get a decent haul from trading Howard by making a deal right after the initial wave of free agency signings, though pulling the trigger on that particular trade would render the cap relief irrelevant that late in the free agency season.

Howard, who signed a 3-year, $70 million deal to return to his hometown of Atlanta, averaged 13.5 points, 12.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game last season.

Unfortunately, his role diminished as the season progressed, with Budenholzer giving more playing time to versatile big men like Ersan Ilyasova and Kris Humphries.

During the exit interviews, Howard voiced his frustration, saying, “I want to play. I want to be out on the floor. I want to make a difference. I want to make an impact, and I can’t do that on the bench.”

Potential suitor

There are not many teams willing to absorb Howard’s contract, but the Philadelphia 76ers might be the most ideal landing spot for him.

Although the Sixers are already dealing with their own frontline logjam, their cap space (projected at $46M) could easily accommodate Howard. Moreover, they have been trying to move Jahlil Okafor for being a defensive liability and slacker on the glass. Howard might not be an explosive scorer, but his rim protection is good enough to jack up the Sixers' defense. Also, with Howard occupying the center spot, Joel Embiid will have an even more favorable matchup at the power forward spot.

It’s a gamble, but a rebuilding team like the Sixers can absorb the consequences -- as well as Howard's contract.

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