4:15pm: Charlotte doesn’t have interest in cashing in its assets for Howard, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports hears, noting that despite the connection between Howard and Hornets coach Steve Clifford, who were together with both the Magic and Lakers, the sides don’t see a path to a deal (Twitter link).
3:48pm: The talks have been exploratory, Stein writes, adding that one source close to the discussion was pessimistic about a deal getting done. The Rockets are seeking at least one first-round pick in any Howard trade, Stein adds.
3:05pm: The Rockets and Hornets have discussed the possibility of sending Dwight Howard to Charlotte, but the sides haven’t been able to find a workable trade idea, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The Hornets earlier today reportedly agreed to trade for Courtney Lee after news broke that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is out for the rest of the season.
Howard’s salary of more than $22.359MM, which would become $22,970,500 if the Rockets deal him because of his trade kicker, is a likely stumbling block, since it would require the Hornets to send Houston at least $18,296,400 in salary to make a legal deal under the NBA’s salary matching rules. Charlotte couldn’t include Lee in any trade that aggregates his salary with another player’s once the deal to acquire him from Memphis becomes official, presenting a further complication.