The Houston Rockets may have grand designs on landing Dwight Howard in a trade, but their reported move to amnesty Luis Scola as a way to make a potential move for the Orlando center is a big win for Scola.
According to USA Today, the Rockets are trying to free up as much cap space as possible in order to take on bad contracts in a possible future move.
If the Rockets amnesty Scola, it allows them to make a considerable trade offer to the Orlando Magic for center Dwight Howard.
The amnesty provision, new to the collective bargaining agreement reached in November, allows a team to waive a player and not have the player's salary count against the salary cap.
While the Rockets are taking a big risk, Scola should be smiling as wide as a human possible can right now. Assuming the amnesty report comes true, he is going to be getting paid the rest of the money Houston owes him and whatever he is able to get from another team.
Plus, Scola will have his choice of where he wants to play. The Rockets could be trying to do something drastic in order to get back into title contention sooner rather than later, but Scola will have the chance to go to a place that is ready to win right now.
Considering how late in the free-agent process we are—with most of the top players already off the board—teams will be itching to get their hands on one of the best power forwards in the NBA.
Scola is getting treated like a throwaway in this whole mess, but he is a really good player. He averaged 15.5 points, 6.5 rebounds per game and shot 49 percent from the floor last season.
Regardless of what the Rockets hope to do, Scola is going to come out of this whole mess in a much better situation than the one he would be leaving.
If the Rockets believe they are just one player away from being a serious contender, that is their prerogative. Scola can take his talents elsewhere and possibly help a team that needs more size take the next step on their path to a championship.