To borrow a poker term, the Rockets are going "All In" for Dwight Howard this off-season. They went hard after a big man (that's what she said) last season but failed in attempts to get Paul Gasol (thanks David Stern) and later Dwight Howard at the trade deadline. GM Daryl Morey knows the teams future and his future, hinges upon him landing the superstar they've been chasing for several seasons. Morey has pulled off several smaller trades to acquire pretty good role players like Luis Scola and Goran Dragic, but until he hits the home run for the superstar; the Rockets won't reach the next level.
The fact that they want Dwight Howard is no secret, but what will it take to get him? Rumors swirled yesterday on blogs and Twitter about scenarios involving the Charlotte Bobcats, Toronto Raptors, and even a deal for Tyreke Evans with Sacramento; which was quickly dismissed by multiple sources. Jason McIntyre from the Big Lead weighed in with a few likely scenarios:
Option 1: Hey Cleveland/Sacramento – any interested in three picks for the No. 4/5 pick?
Option 2: Hey Charlotte – you’ve got plenty of holes to fill. How about three picks for No. 2?
Option 3: Hey Orlando, how about three 1st round picks, Kevin Martin’s expiring contract and point guard Kyle Lowry for Dwight Howard? (Feel free to swap Scola into the deal for one of those two if you like.)
My guess is the Rockets will either try to move into the Top 5 and then put together a package for Dwight Howard.
In my opinion, the Charlotte scenario is unlikely but the Rockets still have plenty of options. If they're able to get the Cavaliers or Kings pick, that pick along with a player like Luis Scola, Kyle Lowry, and/or Kevin Martin's expiring contract should get the job done. Other options include trading with the Warriors and Raptors who have the 7th and 8th picks, and offer the Magic both of those picks. Reports indicate that most teams outside of the top 4 are willing and looking to trade back, and the Rockets are obviously ready, willing, and able to make a credible offer; I'd expect something to be announced soon.