By Steve Kish
Houston’s search for that top flight talent is going to cost the franchise dearly. Cost them in years maybe even in the decade to come. Houston is thinking of pulling a Ditka. Remember the insane amount Ditka gave up to land Ricky Williams, all the 1999 draft and the 1st and 3rd of the 2000 draft? How long did it take the Saints to come back from that goof? They needed Brees to come rescue them. Houston is offering what will end up being even more to land Dwight Howard.
Howard is not a lock to stay there, even if he signs an extension. If he feels management isn’t doing enough to surround him with talent. I doubt he would be happy. The west is deep and has a young, hungry Thunder team to go through year after year. Not to mention the other two Texas teams that Houston has played third fiddle to for years. Oh yes, then there are those two LA teams, the ones with Kobe and CP3. Howard then will again be demanding a trade if Houston is middle of the pact. Houston will be further along getting past them without Howard then with him.
Houston is willing to give up two if not all three of its first round picks this year(Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones). Along with shipping out Kevin Martin, Chandler Parsons, Patrick Patterson, and Marcus Morris. That would wipe out their last two drafts almost. Giving Orlando a nucleus of young talent to build around with cap-friendly contracts. Also Houston will be sending some sort of draft picks package along with these players. Further giving the Magic assets to work with to build around the ex Houston young nucleus.
Sure Houston gets Howard, but chances are without him doing a sign and trade. Along with getting a possible one season here, look at me Nets from Howard, Houston is taking the old players with bad contracts from Orlando. Sure if the Knicks don’t match Lin’s offer sheet then Lin will be there, but honestly what do we know about Lin? That he does great in a point guard friendly offense; that’s another big gamble as they back loaded the offer to Lin. The Bulls sound like they are not going to match the offer to Asik which is another cap filler.
Houston is going to entice Howard to stay with no cap room, and the same broken down pieces from Orlando and no draft picks possibly for a couple years? I find this logic hard to follow. Dwight has been around long enough he has seen how the league works. Bad contracts are hard to move and he may have to wait for another big name, say Harden, to possibly leave the Thunder and they are willing to take what they can get to get something back. Though what will Houston have to deal in the next years coming, as they are giving everything up for a possible long term future with Howard. Howard will sign a max extension and Houston will have to surround him with C+ to C- players for the first 2 or 3 years of that extension. I doubt that’s what Howard wants to deal and play with in his NBA future.
Houston maybe all in on Howard, but it just doesn’t make long term sense. Moving all your young talent and future draft picks for old guys, a guy that may or may not sign just doesn’t seem like good business sense. We can all say that they will sell out home games in the beginning, but if they aren’t winning due to a lack of talent around Howard then that will go away also. Don’t pull a Ditka Houston, back off build around Terrence Jones, Lin, if you get him, White, Lamb, and Morris, that is a good team. Take your chances that the Magic can’t move Howard and try to get him in free agency. That’s a gamble that is worth the saving your future.