Tuck: Rockets Pursuing Dwight Howard
Houston has been desperate to upgrade from average team to contending team since Yao Ming was forced into retirement. The Rockets have been very active traders. GM Daryl Morey has made 9 trades in the last 3 seasons.
Houston expressed interest in trading for Dwight Howard at the deadline last season, so it is no surprise to hear reports that they are again attempting to acquire the big man from the Orlando Magic.
The Rockets own the 14th and 16th picks in the draft as of right now, but would like to improve upon those picks to obtain lottery picks and nobody on their roster is off-limits to getting it done.
They are way under the cap (approx $31 million) and if they could swing a deal or deals where they lift Kevin Martin (1yr, $12.9), Luis Scola (3yr, $30.6), and/or Kyle Lowry (2yr, $11.9) off their cap then they can not only add Dwight Howard, but another top notch free agent or two to join him. All those players, and even Samuel Dalembert (team option for $6.7) would draw interest in one way, shape, or form on the open market.
It is difficult to say what Houston will come up with as it involves other teams, but if it netted Orlando two lottery picks, and Martin's/Dalembert's expiring deals, and possibly even Lowry while taking back Dwight and at least one, if not two bad contracts (i.e. Turkoglu, J-Rich, Duhon, Baby) it might be hard to find a deal better than that from a team willing to trade for Dwight Howard without a guarantee he resigns.
None of this makes sense for Orlando if they intend to keep Dwight Howard or want to keep him. If he has made it known that he has no intention of resigning at season's end, then you are probably best to make a deal before the draft. It's also possible that Alex Martins has already conveyed to new GM Rob Hennigan that the team will trade Dwight Howard because they do not want to go through another season like the last one.
IF, Dwight Howard is traded, I think that will be the reason why more than anything else, for better for worse.
I don't agree with that thought process. I'd rather suffer with stress and commotion while winning than be "happy" losing and rebuilding. It appears that if they are going to rebuild however, it will be through the draft and Hennigan undoubtedly was hired in part because of his draft record in OKC.
Golden State and Portland appear to be the only other teams with the ammo or the desire to attempt such a calculated risk of trading for a potential one-year rental. The clock is ticking, and I don't mean on the Magic's 19th pick.