NBA Rumors: Which Lucky Team Will Steal Luis Scola Off the Waiver Wire?

Stephen Babb@@StephenBabbFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 10:  Luis Scola #4 of the Houston Rockets against the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 10, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets' decision to use their amnesty clause on Luis Scola will prove to be either fool's gold or a genius maneuver in an attempt to land the likes of Dwight Howard.

All that we know at this point is that it's certainly risky.

Whatever good it winds up doing the Rockets, it will most certainly help out another team. The 32-year-old still has a smooth mid-range game and a solid frame to body up against other big men. 

He may not be especially explosive or much of a high-impact defender, but that doesn't mean he can't help a team in need of a skilled veteran.

Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer includes the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs among the teams that would be good fits for Scola–as well he should. In fact, Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Dallas in particular will make a push for him:

The Mavericks will be aggressive bidders for Scola on the amnesty wire, league sources said. Dallas is serious about Elton Brand too.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 12, 2012

The Mavs need a little bit of everything at this point, and the Spurs have long been in search of an upgraded post presence. 

Scola's ability to pick-and-pop would likewise serve both clubs well given their penchants for running the play.

Of course, there are any number of playoff teams who could use those kind of services. The Chicago Bulls may prefer a cheaper alternative to Carlos Boozer, and Scola would would perhaps empower them to make use of their own amnesty and send Boozer packing.

Teams with cap space like the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Hornets might also be willing to pay the modest price for a guy like Scola. 

He's probably better suited for a team firmly entrenched in the playoff picture, but borderline clubs could view him as the kind of piece that gets them over the hump.

And, he very well might.

Though his production last season trailed the career-high 18.3 points he notched a year earlier, there's little doubt this guy can still play. His soft touch is makes him adept as scoring in a variety of ways and doing so efficiently.

This year was the first of his five NBA seasons in which he shot the ball at a rate of under 50 percent–and it was 49 percent this time.

Not exactly a steep decline.

If you're a team in the market for a power forward, the question isn't really how the Scola of today compares to his best season. It's how he compares to other available power forwards.

Put in that perspective the Argentinian fairs quite well, so well in fact that he'll likely be picked up off of waivers before he even has a chance to hit the open market. A team with cap room or a full mid-level exception would be in the best position to make a bid that is both competitive and reasonable–no more than $5 million a season.

After all, Scola will still get the money originally owed to him by Houston. He doesn't need a huge pay day.

If Dallas and San Antonio don't make a run, don't be surprised to see Scola go to a rebuilding team with ambitions of grandeur. If that's not the Suns or Hornets, it could be the Toronto Raptors or Cleveland Cavaliers.

It's hard to find many organizations without at least some interest in a big forward who can shoot the ball.