As I initially reported early Tuesday morning, the Houston Rockets are still very much in the mix when it comes to trading for Dwight Howard.
In fact with Brook Lopez re-upping with the Brooklyn Nets, the Rockets may even be the favorite.
Tuesday it was reported the Magic, Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers were discussing a deal that would send Howard to Los Angeles and Andrew Bynum to Houston.
However, the Rockets appear to want Howard themselves.
According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets are considering using the amnesty clause on forward Luis Scola (Scola is scheduled to make $11,041,037 during the 2014-15 season, but that year is unguaranteed), who is owed nearly $20 million over the next two years. This would allow the Rockets to take on even more salary from the Magic as Orlando’s quest to dump bad contracts and acquire draft picks continues.
Feigen says “Talks on Wednesday grew “serious,” and the sides at one point seemed close to an agreement, according to a person familiar with the process.”
The Rockets would likely send back the expiring contract of guard Kevin Martin ($12,439,675) and some combination of draft picks (They own Toronto’s 2013 pick, but it is top three protected) and young players (They drafted guard Jeremy Lamb and forwards Royce White and Terrence Jones in June’s draft).
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)