For anyone who isn’t paying attention to what’s happening around the NBA right now, the Houston Rockets are setting up to make a huge splash.
In trading Chase Budinger for the 18th pick in the draft yesterday, they now have picks 14, 16, and 18. The latest rumor is that Kyle Lowry will be dealt in a package with players to either Sacramento for the 5th pick or to Toronto for the 8th pick.
Houston would then have four first round picks, and the plan is to give Orlando an offer for Dwight Howard they can’t refuse.
Four first round picks this year and some players for Dwight Howard? I’m not sure the Magic will find a better package than that.
Houston then hopes to clear enough cap space to sign Deron Williams in free agency, forming a formidable “big two” and crushing the hopes of the Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks in the process.
There’s one big problem with this plan though: Dwight Howard doesn’t want to play for the Rockets, and David Aldridge has reported that there’s “no chance” Howard doesn’t opt for free agency after next season if he’s dealt to Houston.
Do the Magic care about that though? No, and why should they?
Howard has kept them in limbo for two years now, and since it’s inevitable he will be gone, their job is to get the best return possible for the player. Again, four first round picks in what looks like a pretty good draft this year? There’s no way Orlando is passing that up.
So Houston’s plan is to trade four potential building blocks in the form of draft picks for a star who probably will want out in a year with additional hopes of maybe luring another star, if they can find a way to clear up money after the deal.
Sounds like a huge risk, and it should make for one intriguing Thursday night.