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Report: Rockets going hard after Dwight Howard

Jun 25, 2012, 12:55 PM EDT

Orlando Magic v New York Knicks Getty Images

When it comes time to trade Dwight Howard this summer — and make no mistake, new Magic general manager Rob Hennigan will have to move him because he will not re-sign in Orlando — the Magic are not going to give a crap about Howard’s wishes.

Howard may want to land in Brooklyn or some other specified list of spots, but the Magic are going to take the best deal for them.

And if they move fast could come from the Houston Rockets, who have made a push for Howard before even though he has not said he would sign an extension there. We passed along the report the Rockets were looking to make trades for their No. 14 and No. 16 picks to move into the top 10. Maybe with a couple picks and a player like Kevin Martin, the Rockets move way up in the conversation, reports ESPN.

The Rockets’ willingness to trade for Howard — even without the All-Star center’s signature on a contract extension — is an open secret around the league. But it’s believed that two top-eight picks, assuming Houston managed to complete trades with both Sacramento and Toronto, would seriously pique the interest of new Magic general manager Rob Hennigan, who could then quickly start following the same sort of roster-building blueprint relied on by his previous employers in Oklahoma City.

As ESPN’s report points out, the harder part may be convincing Hennigan to make a massive move like trading Howard just a week into being on the job, before he really had a chance to sell Howard on staying. Not that he can, but if you’re Hennigan you have to take a swing at it. You’re not going to get a franchise player in this draft at No. 5 or No. 8.

I expect Howard will get moved this summer, not before the draft. But if Hennigan decides to go that route, Houston could be the landing spot.

  1. sknut - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    I would think Hennigan is smart enough to know that Howard isn’t staying no matter how hard he tries and will take the best deal available to him. Even though Howard is great there is no reason to have the leftover feelings stay there and go through this another year.

  2. bestcoastinfluence - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Howard is leaving Orlando, but I just don’t see him going to Houston. That would be an interesting team next year with him.

    • knightrider1755 - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      Even if he goes with Houston in a trade he’s not going to resign with them so what’s the point They will basically have a short-term rental. Seems ridiculous to even pursue him under those circumstances.

      • bestcoastinfluence - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:36 PM

        Yeah that is exactly what I was thinking. It would be dumb of Houston to even try and get him.

      • savvybynature - Jun 25, 2012 at 9:56 PM

        If they get him for a year and if they think that makes them a serious contender this year — which is a big “if” — they could always trade him in a sign and trade after next season if he isn’t willing to re-sign long-term (which he probably won’t).

        Would give Brooklyn another year to get some trade assets, since they squandered what few they had last season on Gerald Wallace for some completely unknown and downright stupid reason.

        Put it this way, if all it takes is the 6 and 8 pick to get D12, and they get him for a year and then sign and trade him for something like the 6 pick next year, they basically get a one-year rental of the best center in the league for a #8 pick. That’s not that terrible.

  3. icewinna0 - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    DWill and DHoward will be in Brooklyn next year like it or not

  4. loungefly74 - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    i know its a long shot and a pipe dream…but hoping my Lakers can find a way to get D-12…

  5. wlubake - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    I hope this goes down. That puts everyone on pretty equal footing for D12 in 2013 (if he truly won’t extend with Houston). My Mavs can clear space to make him an offer to play with (hopefully) DWill and Dirk.

  6. miamatt - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    If I were Rob Hennigan, I would make a trade for two top eight picks (plus other concessions) to move Howard in a heartbeat.

    The best thing for the Magic organization would be to move on from Howard as quickly as possible, preferably before summer league gets underway. Otherwise they’ll be dragged through the mud for another eight months and be forced to take whatever deal is left on the table at that time. I doubt Brooklyn will offer something significantly better than Houston, so if I were Hennigan I’d be pushing the Rockets hard to get their best deal on the table prior to the draft.

    Not only would Orlando get two cracks at top ten talent in this years’ draft, they would likely get a high lottery pick next year by initiating the youth movement now, rather than keeping Howard and having a playoff-quality record by the time the trade deadline rolls around.

    I’ll have a ton of respect for Hennigan if he has the balls to make this move.

  7. rohlo - Jun 25, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    dont sleep on houston…howard trains there in the offseason with olajuwon..the rockets have had a long tradition on centers and im sure he would love beign coached by another big man in mchale! its not like houston is a small market team people, the rockets net worth is in the top 5 in the nba! i lmao when people act like houston is sacramento or something and mavs fans dont forget you place in the pecking order of texas basketball and where its history lies at! houston has more pieces in place than brooklyn does att his point even with d will..not sure if he would wanna go to the nets knowing they will be good enough for 3rd or 4th in the east behind miami and chicago and possibly new york.. in the west you have thunder ,and then the rest with spurs(aging and prob had the last true run last year),lakers with kobe can never count them out,mavs not as deep as before and ? marks with terry and depth!, rockets havent had a losing season since 2006 and have great depth without a true superstar right now.

    . les alexander is feeling the heat from rockets fans and the city to do something after watching the success with the mavs and spurs this decade plus after the rockets runs in the 90’s..also having howard in houston first even though d will says mavs or nets only would probobly put the rockets on his list if houston signs howard long term.rockets will spend the money and have been over the luxury tax and have spent money in the past. FYI- even though yao is retired the rockets still carry that chinese endorsement money with them as the most followed team in china.chinese pay top dollar for endorsements.if memory serves me right i think howard makes trips to china for the nba.. of course there is no garuntee he will resign with them if traded there,but would a team risk so much if they didnt know a little bit more than any of us nba fans..im sure there is alot of things going on and talked about off the record between howard and connections with houston.. My gut tells me the rockets are gonna be making some major moves over the next few months and into the following year! they have had enough of picking 13th or 14th in the draft… this isnt sacramento or golden state this a top 5 team on forbes list of nba teams!!

  8. rohlo - Jun 25, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    also worst case scenario he doesnt resign houston flips him at the trading deadline for a kings ransom for a team making a championship run if the rockets are out of it or he refuses to sign..they woudl be able to get some good compensation prob at the trading deadline for him player wise and picks! its a win win ..the draft isnt as depp this year anyways so those picks the rockets have are expendable plus they will prob resign dragic eho imo is better than lowry asa true point gaurd..dragic is gonna be good and aaron brooks is out there too!

  9. ch8878 - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    If Houston can get the Sacramento (No. 5) and Toronto (No. 8) picks for there’s (No. 14 and No. 16) maybe the best offer the Magic can get I say go for it if Howard wants to leave.

    The Magic also have the (No. 19) pick so maybe they could move the (No. 5) or (No. 8) plus the (No. 19) and move up or just keep them all and get 3 picks.

    • ch8878 - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:06 PM

      I guess can’t put the number eight

  10. rocketsbb - Jun 25, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Lowry, dalembert 14th or 16th (even both) pick for Howard.

  11. rushbacker - Jun 25, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Seems like an insane amount for the Rockets to pay without a guarantee of keeping him, but that’s a solid deal for Orlando if they can land a pair of top ten picks and a usable player. And having the pair of picks would potentially allow the Magic to gamble with one of them, and take a high-upside project like Andre Drummond or Perry Jones.

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