After the Houston Rockets' surprising decision to use the amnesty clause and cut loose Luis Scola, a number of teams are going to be coveting the services of one of the better power forwards in the NBA.
So far, three teams have emerged from the pack as suitors to claim Scola.
According to ProBasketballDraft.com, the Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers are both interested in the 32-year-old Argentine. The website's twitter feed also speculates that the Atlanta Hawks will be intrigued, but as that isn't technically a sourced rumor, the Hawks will not be considered here.
Additionally, Yahoo! Sports' Kelly Dwyer reports that the San Antonio Spurs are interested in re-acquiring the services of Scola, who they let go of in 2007.
So, how do these three leading contenders stack up?
3. Dallas Mavericks
Scola would have the opportunity to play aside Dirk Nowitzki in the Dallas Mavericks' frontcourt, forming an incredible duo of finesse (Dirk) and physicality (Scola). To be fair, Scola is a lot more than a power player, though, because he has some of the most beautiful post moves in the game.
Even with the recent addition of Darren Collison and the potential acquisition of Scola, the Mavericks still wouldn't be contenders and might even struggle to make the playoffs.
The roster continues to age, as Shawn Marion and Vince Carter still figure to play significant roles for Mark Cuban's team.
Scola can both go to work on the post and spread out the floor with his jump-shooting, but it's not going to be enough to get close to a repeat of 2010.
The Mavs have also claimed Elton Brand off the waivers, which could throw a wrench in these plans. It is still possible for them to claim Scola as well, though.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
During the 2012 NBA draft, I said to one of my friends, "You know, I bet the Cleveland Cavaliers finish with a better record than the Dallas Mavericks this year."
I stand by that prediction, especially if the Cavs can land the power forward who averaged 15.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season.
The acquisition of Scola could point toward another move for Cleveland, one that would involve shopping Anderson Varejao for a shooting guard or small forward. Even if Varejao stayed, Scola would help solidify the frontcourt.
His presence might block the further development of Tristan Thompson, but he'd fit in nicely alongside Tyler Zeller in the paint.
With an up-and-coming guard like Kyrie Irving to help run pick-and-(insert roll/pop here), Scola's scoring might take a jump back up to its 2010-2011 level.
1. San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are already a true contender for the title now that Tim Duncan is back with the team, but the addition of Scola would push them over the top and make them one of the favorites.
Though San Antonio is normally one of the most shrewd organizations in the business, Scola represents one of the few times that Spurs management has screwed up. San Antonio drafted him in 2002 with the No. 56 pick of the draft, then allowed him to continue playing overseas.
After a failure to buy out his contract, the Spurs traded his rights to the Houston Rockets in 2007 for Vassilis Spanoulis, some cash and a second-round draft pick. I think it's safe to say they lost that deal.
Bringing Scola back would not only allow the power forward to put on a Spurs jersey for the first time, but it would also allow him to form a terrifying frontcourt duo with Duncan while taking some of the stress off his older counterpart.
Plus, the Spurs love running pick-and-rolls or passing the ball around the perimeter until there's an option shot. Both of those half-court sets play into Scola's hands perfectly.
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