The Houston Rockets have ramped up their efforts to make a direct trade with the Orlando Magic to land superstar center Dwight Howard, with the commitment of taking on more of Orlando's long term contracts as the latest sweetening of the pot, according to ESPN:
Sources told ESPN.com that the Rockets, should they go ahead with their widely reported plans to release starting power forward Luis Scola via the NBA's amnesty clause, are prepared to absorb the contracts of Jason Richardson, Glen Davis and Chris Duhon -- in addition to sending Orlando multiple future first-round picks and recent draftees -- to give the Magic an opportunity to wipe their payroll virtually clean for their post-Howard rebuilding effort.
It's worth noting that no news has emerged that Howard would be willing to sign a long-term deal anywhere other than Brooklyn, the team he originally requested a trade to that failed to engineer a deal with the Magic. In the above scenario, Orlando's upside is an almost entirely clean slate of payroll to start their entire franchise over, while Houston gets the vaunted big man - and likely Jason Richardson as well.
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