Unlike other deals where the negotiations were much further along, this deal appears to have just been an offer on the part of the Magic and a quick rejection from the Rockets. After Yao had gone down earlier in the year, the Rockets were searching for a center to fill the void in the middle that was currently filled by Chuck Hayes.
Names such as Brendan Haywood were bandied around, but the most intriguing name that was connected to the Rockets was Marcin Gortat, Dwight Howard's backup at the time.
Gortat was eventually sent with Mickael Pietrus, Vince Carter and a first-round pick in a package deal that netted the Magic Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark.
From Mike Fisher of Scout.com:
When Orlando was shopping Marcin Gortat around, the Magic hoped for Martin in exchange. Houston wouldn’t bite…so Gortat goes to Phoenix and the Rockets are looking for something superior to The Polish Hammer.
Should the Rockets have made this deal?
Unlike other potential trades that were somewhat minor, this deal would've been a veritable blockbuster. Kevin Martin, the second highest scorer in the league (on a per-minute basis) and the Rockets' offensive leader, would be moved for a backup center. While that seems laughable, the Rockets should have taken a second look at this deal, especially if they could have pried some more interesting pieces from the Magic.
A deal along the lines of Marcin Gortat, Vince Carter (and his expiring contract) and Ryan Anderson for Martin, Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill and Brad Miller would've both injected youth into the front court and free up major money moving forward. The Rockets would've missed Martin and his potent scoring, but they might have been just as effective with Courtney Lee and his stronger defensive skills taking more minutes at shooting guard.
Meanwhile, Gortat, who flourished in extended minutes at center for the Suns, would have given the Rockets a long-term option at center, something they've lacked for years.
Carter would have been an intriguing veteran to take a flier on as he could have given the Rockets some value on the court mixed in with his mailed-in games. Additionally, at the end of the lockout, Carter and his non-guaranteed contract would have become a tremendous trade chip.
The move would've been a gutsy one and would've required a lot faith in Courtney Lee, but it may be one the Rockets regret not pursuing.