I would be talking trade with the Houston Rockets. To me, all other teams "interested" can not/will not offer a better deal for Dwight Howard. A trade with the Rockets could give us promising young talent, financial flexibility, and future draft picks going forward. There are so many different scenarios that could play out, but this is the scenario that I chose to go with.
Houston trades: Lowry, Martin, Patterson, Lamb, future 1st round pick
Orlando trades: Howard, J-Rich, Harper
If the Rockets were willing to give up Lamb, but wanted to keep Jones and White, I'd be fine with that as long as they gave us a future 1st round pick. Looking at the future, I think Lamb is the best fit for our team roster-wise. Martin's and Redick's contract will expire after 12/13 season, so if Lamb turns out to be a good player, he could be our 2-guard.
Due to having 5 PF/C's, I would not match Ryan Anderson's contract. Let him walk. I would guarantee Redick's final year. I would let Nelson sign with another team. So here would be the line-up going into the season.
PG: Lowry, Duhon, Ish (?)
SG: Martin, Redick, Lamb
SF: Hedo, Q-Rich, Liggins (?)
PF: Nicholson, Patterson, Clark
C: Davis, O'Quinn
I know this isn't a great line-up, we are not going to win a championship with this team, but I think that we will be competitive. Our defense probably won't be very good either, which means we will probably lose a lot of games. But if we're trying to rebuild, we have young group and future cap space/picks to do that.
If I did the calculations correctly, this roster would put us right around the $58 million cap. With Martin, Redick, Patterson, and Clark coming off the books after the season, we will have around $20 million in cap space to sign free agents for the 13/14 season.
Like I said, there are a lot of different scenarios that could happen. We could let Redick walk and resign Nelson so we have a good back-up PG. We could match Ryan Anderson's contract offer and let Redick and/or Nelson walk. We could keep all three and go over the cap. Houston could be willing to give us T. Jones or White along with Lamb instead of giving us Patterson. We could trade Duhon instead of J-Rich. We could add Clark to the trade.
The question is, will the Rockets do this deal? Looking at there roster minus the players they trade looks like this (assuming they re-sign Dragic and Courtney Lee):
PG: Dragic, Livingston
SG: Lee, J-Rich
SF: T. Jones, Parsons, Morris
PF: Scola, White, Harper
C: Howard, Asik, Brockman
I think this roster could do some damage and would probably make the playoffs. However, this roster would probably take them over the cap with no real financial flexibility going forward, meaning Howard will most likely have no reason to stick around. But if he does leave, they have $10-15 million of cap space for the 13/14 season.
All my salary information came from hoopshype.com
Let me know what y'all think or suggestion/changes you might have. I think if the plan is to rebuild the Spurs/Thunder way, this is the way to go. If Hennigan decides to go a different route, then this isn't the way to go. Maybe now that Howard can't go to Brooklyn, he'll sign an extension with us!
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