Dwight Howard Rumors: Rockets Must Take Chance and Trade for Star Center
Talks on Wednesday grew "serious," and the sides at one point seemed close to an agreement, according to a person familiar with the process. But the Magic backed off to consider their options.
The Rockets are open to the three-team deal in which they would receive Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum, with Howard going to the Lakers, but are primarily working directly with the Magic to acquire Howard, the individual with knowledge of the talks said.
As Feigen notes, the fact that the Nets signed center Brook Lopez to a four-year deal worth $60.8 million on Wednesday greatly improved the Rockets' odds of landing Howard.
But the real question is, have they increased the odds that Howard would consider signing an extension with the team as well?
Perhaps. With Lopez already locked up, would the Nets even consider signing Howard next season and trading Lopez? What happens if Lopez has an excellent 2012-13 campaign, and the Nets decide they'd rather keep him around and maintain cap space for other areas of the team?
Then, Dwight loses out on his dream team and suddenly the fact that Houston can offer him the fattest contract becomes an enticing reason to remain in Texas.
It's a lot for Houston to bank on. By trading for Howard, the Rockets are buying a high-priced lottery ticket with their last dollar and hoping to pay the rent with any winnings they get. It's a bold—some might say stupid—risk to take.
Should the Rockets bring in Dwight Howard?
But for the Rockets, what is the alternative? They lost Goran Dragic to the Suns and traded Kyle Lowry. Luis Scola may be amnestied. Who should Rockets fans be getting excited about right now? Who can this team sell to fans? How will they compete next year if they don't land Howard?
So given all of that, it seems a risk the Rockets have to take (if they can put together a deal that pleases the Magic, that is). Time to roll the dice, Houston.
The risk is a one-year rental. The reward could be adding the game's best center and a future Hall of Famer for the rest of his career.
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