According to the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen, the Rockets are planning to use their amnesty clause on Luis Scola in order to create more room for a potential trade with the Orlando Magic to land Dwight Howard. While the Rockets feel they are getting closer to Howard, they are making a huge mistake, even if they do end up getting the star center.
The Rockets have scarified their entire roster to lure the Magic into a trade, but it isn't just the Magic they need to please. They need to turn some of their focus on making Howard happy as well if they are to obtain his services. If the Rockets can't please Howard, it is likely he leaves via free agency following the end of the season.
If the Rockets have been paying attention to Howard over the last year, they should know by now that he isn't the best at making decisions surrounding commitment, something they'll need if the trade is going to benefit them for longer than just a season.
One of the reasons Howard wants out of Orlando is the lack of building the team has done in order to compete for a championship. If the Rockets trade or give away all their assets in order to get Howard, —even taking on the terrible contracts of Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson—they risk creating a financial crisis much worse than Orlando.
Howard would likely leave in the offseason, and the Rockets would be stuck with restricting contracts making it even harder for them to rebuild.
If the Rockets can't land Howard, their offense will be laughable. They will have gone from needing to rebuild to complete chaos. They will have blown up the entire team and walked away with nothing to show for it. When teams go all-in and miss out on their top guy, often times they end up overpaying for a player to ease the pain of rejection.
Maybe this will all work out in the end for the Rockets. They get Howard, somehow get him to commit long term and add enough pieces to become a contender. At this point though, it just doesn't seem very likely.
There has been talk (via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!) of the Rockets now being able to have a second max-deal after this season, potentially for Chris Paul. While they may have the money for that, it seems much more likely that CP3 finally joins the New York Knicks.
Rockets fans are definitely in for an interesting couple of weeks either way.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!