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Dwight Howard Will Reportedly Test Free Agency After 2012-2013 Season

I'm not sure when nicknames for sports' most galvanizing and polarizing situations went from hackneyed to kind of awesome, but I can say with a certain level of conviction that I'm enjoying 'Dwightmare' at least as much as the 'Melo Drama' tag before it. For information-starved NBA fans, Dwight Howard's on-going trade demands really have been a nightmare. It's the perfect moniker. At least LeBron James did us the honor of making up his mind quickly.

Howard changes his mind seemingly daily, save for his apparently desire to join the Brooklyn Nets, which, you know, could have happened had he just opted out of his contract in Orlando last season like he was allowed to. Another day, another Howard rumor: now the word on the street is that the Magic big man is ready test the free agent waters regardless of which team trades for him. A report yesterday said Howard was now open to signing an extension with the Los Angeles Lakers; well, so much for that.

It begs the question: can we really trust any of this news until Howard's situation mercifully resolves itself? Probably not.

Howard has long been desired by Bulls fans, but our fair city's never-ending love for hometown hero Derrick Rose apparently turned Howard off. A move to Chicago would make plenty of sense if Howard is interested in, you know, winning, but that has never seemed like the top priority for the charismatic big man.

Getting Howard to the Bulls next season won't be easy, but I suppose it's possible. At the moment, my best estimates puts the Bulls at having about $61 million committed to six players after this upcoming season. Carlos Boozer can be amnestied, clearing his $15.3 million salary off the books. It all depends where the cap threshold ends up.

Of course, this plan also requires the Bulls to turn down Jimmy Butler's very affordable team option and let Taj Gibson walk. So yeah, there are a few issues. Seeing as Chicago is teamed with one of the most uncreative front offices in the NBA, it's hard to get your hopes up. I'm not even sure if Howard's petulance and balky back is worth the trouble at this point.