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Report: Rockets to amnesty Luis Scola

Jul 12, 2012, 7:03 PM EDT

Luis Scola AP

Rockets general manager continues to be very aggressive, trying to break out of the mediocre rut Houston has been stuck in.

In a league where quality big men are at a premium, the Rockets are going to use their amnesty clause to cut loose Luis Scola and his three-years, $31 million remaining, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Network.

Scola is probably the best player to be amnestied so far, averaging 15.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season, 18.3 and 8 the season before. He is an above average NBA big man who may not be an All-Star but would fit on most teams.

Scola, once amnestied, will spend 48 hours on the waiver wire, where teams under the salary cap can bid on him (teams offer to take on a portion of his salary to get his services, the Rockets still pay the rest of his salary it just doesn’t count on their official books). Already the Mavericks have said they would make a big bid, Wojnarowski reported, and other teams have to be thinking the same thing.

Why did the Rockets do it? To clear out more cap space in their efforts to at least rent Dwight Howard (no deal is close). With this not only can not only take on his contract next year but also take back the bad deal of Jason Richardson or Hedo Turkoglu. The Rockets also have been stockpiling picks to make a deal for Howard, and with the Nets out they may now be the frontrunner to land him.

Howard has said he would not re-sign with the Rockets, they would just be renting him. But either way, this is a good move for the Rockets because they have been stuck in the NBA’s doldrums. It’s no man’s land middle ground. They get Howard and they become good, keep him and they have a franchise anchor to put pieces around and win (plus now they would have the cap space to add a max player next summer, like Chris Paul). Lose Howard and they will be bad for a couple years and get high lottery picks. Either way, they break out of the middle ground.

  1. rocketsbb - Jul 12, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Scola will be missed for his flopping and incredible footwork…..

  2. jimmyjohns121 - Jul 12, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Scola has 3 years roughly 31 million left not 3 years 21 million…that’s a HUGE difference.

  3. gmen4life33 - Jul 12, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    “Lose Howard and they will be bad for a couple years and get high lottery picks”

    No, those picks will belong to ORL, since they used them to get him…

    • xavier46 - Jul 12, 2012 at 7:23 PM

      They haven’t used anything yet…

    • franbotel - Jul 12, 2012 at 7:31 PM

      GM Morey never makes bonehead trades check his history .

    • danielcp0303 - Jul 12, 2012 at 11:15 PM

      Not true. The Dallas pick and Toronto pick would go to the Magic. The Hawks now have the rights to the Rockets pick, but it’s lottery protected. Since you can’t be without 1st rounders in back to back years, the Rockets would still have every future pick, and even their own if they miss the playoffs. So if Howard leaves and they are terrible, they’d still have their own lottery picks.

      • gmen4life33 - Jul 14, 2012 at 6:30 PM

        No they would have one pick (the one after next/TOR has). After that Magic will being every HOU pick they can, along with DAL TOR pick they have. And having one pick after Howard leaves you (along with 3/4 bad contracts) isnt much of a security blanket.

      • danielcp0303 - Jul 15, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        Again Gmen…you’re 100% wrong. Facts are facts

  4. gmen4life33 - Jul 12, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    I do like a team calling Howard’s b.s and trading for him. If he leaves via FA he cant get the most $ (which is important to him, which is why he opted-in last year) and he cant go to any team over the cap. If a team like Houston can get Howard and a nice second player, would he really leave the extra money to go to the Mavs (only contender that will be under cap next summer)? I say someone call his bluff…

    • passerby23 - Jul 13, 2012 at 12:34 AM

      To me, this is a no-risk move for the Rockets. If they get Howard and he re-signs, great, they have their franchise player to build around. If he walks, they still have all that cap space to build for the future. It’s not like they were on the cusp of a championship. They were meddling in mediocrity and not having Howard doesn’t suddenly plummet them.

      Howard is going to find his options in free agency next summer slim anyway. Knicks, Heat, Celtics, Lakers, Spurs, Thunder, Nets, and Bulls have no cap room for a max level player, which means he’ll be left to sign with a non-contender. He could take a look at Phoenix, but he’d be making substantially less money. Best to build something in Houston where he can make $20 million more.

      Houston is making some smart decisions.

      • gmen4life33 - Jul 14, 2012 at 6:27 PM

        Agree with you mostly, but they wont have all that much cap room if Howard leaves because it looks like they are going to have to take on 3 or 4 bad contracts just to get him.

      • passerby23 - Jul 15, 2012 at 6:40 PM

        That’s true, those contracts are poison, but one of them (likely Turkoglu) would most likely be amnestied, And Richardson’s contract is workable. He could still be a serviceable player or be traded.

        Bottom line is Howard is running out of options. If he wants to sign with a contender, there isn’t much room for him. If he wants the most money, he should re-sign. I know it’s not a destination he would like, but Toronto would be an ideal fit. Pair him with Valenciunas, Barnagni, Lowry, DeRozen, and Ross and that is a strong, young nucleus.

  5. slopmcflop - Jul 12, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    As a fantasy basketball owner of Scola last year, I can say it definitely looks like this guy is on the downside of his career. None of the consistency you’d hope for. Okay one night, terrible the next. Really puckered my balls, especially after using an upper round pick on the guy.

    Still haven’t exactly figured out Houston’s end game here. They were stacked at the Forward position before, so this move doesn’t kill you and allows the young talent to grow, but they still need some help at PG/C. If they manage to land Howard though, they’re going to be looking pretty good. For a year, at least.

  6. bparmalee - Jul 12, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Scola will be on the T-Wolves or Raptors very shortly…… they love their euro players.

    • cosanostra71 - Jul 12, 2012 at 7:36 PM

      Scola is Argentinian…

      • bparmalee - Jul 12, 2012 at 8:03 PM

        I actually do know that but he played in Spain and is there any doubt that he has a euro game? So he is a euro…. nothing really to do with where he was born.

      • BrownsTown - Jul 12, 2012 at 11:15 PM

        “So are you Chinese or Japanese?”

    • zenmaster92 - Jul 12, 2012 at 8:00 PM

      Maybe the Spurs…two of Scola’s Argentian basketball teammates are on that team (Ginobli & Splitter)

      • atahualpaoxford - Jul 14, 2012 at 12:34 PM

        Splitter argentinian…??? Check your facts…he’s brazilian, and speaks portuguese, not spanish..

    • phaden27 - Jul 12, 2012 at 9:33 PM

      Around forty million Argentinians doubt that actually.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 12, 2012 at 11:45 PM

      Try South American.

      • bparmalee - Jul 13, 2012 at 8:11 AM

        Is that where Argentina is?? Flops…check…. played for years in Europe…check…..hits jumpers and has a finesse post game… check check…..he is a euro player.

      • mytthor - Jul 13, 2012 at 10:25 AM

        Well It’s good to know Shane Battier is European; hell, he even has a french-sounding name! Give it up man, you messed up.

    • passerby23 - Jul 13, 2012 at 12:36 AM

      Raptors are building a young team. They aren’t going to throw a lot of money at an aging, declining big – especially when they are trying to develop Valenciunas, Barnagni, and Ed Davis. Not sure where he’ll turn up, but I would be shocked if it was in Toronto.

  7. cantonbound13 - Jul 12, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    They couldn’t trade him for picks? What is their plan?

    • phaden27 - Jul 12, 2012 at 9:30 PM

      My thoughts exactly, it’s not like this guy is terrible.

  8. thekingdave - Jul 12, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Kurt, I’d make a huge wager that your “sources” are nothing more than dudes you follow on twitter. To say a deal isn’t close based on nothing is ridiculous. I highly doubt they’d amnesty Scola for nothing if something bigger wasn’t in the works.

  9. dylude - Jul 12, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Thanks for the story Kurt.

    Rockets are the only team with the young talent, picks and enough non guaranteed contracts to make an offer the Magic can’t refuse.

    The problem? Now that the Nets are out of it, Morey isn’t willing to move Donatas Motiejunas and take on 3 bad contracts. Maybe in a week or if ATL jumps in the game that will change, but until then Houston is the only team able to deal for Dwight.

  10. raidmagic - Jul 12, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    And Magic fans everywhere rejoiced

  11. drgstarflash - Jul 12, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    Scola can come back to San Antonio, where he was drafted in the first place. We can have a mixture of Team France and Team Argentina on the floor with the rest of the Spurs…If Tony can convince Diaw and DeColo, manu can convince Scola…Go Spurs Go

  12. flyrocket31 - Jul 12, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Better get Dwight or houstonians are calling for Moreys head with all these transactions of our best players. It’s frustrating, and howard better be worth it!

  13. zacmonte - Jul 12, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    I’m just wondering if he was immovable to the point where they had to amnesty him?
    Although, with how Morey is, I’m going to assume they attempted to move him before deciding on the amnesty.
    Good luck to Scola.

  14. kerby720 - Jul 12, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    This deal is going to happen within the next 48 hours. BOOK IT!

    Lakers get: Howard, J. Rich, Montiejunas, Parsons
    Rockets get: Bynum, Turkoglu, Blake, Reddick
    Magic get: MWP, Royce White, J. Hill, Patrick Patterson, Martin (exp. contract), 1 future 1st and 2nd rounder (from Rockets), and a future 1st and 2nd rounder from the Lakers.

  15. thekingdave - Jul 12, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    Done deal. Howard, Glen Davis, Jason Richardson, and Chris Duhon are Rockets.

  16. magicbucs - Jul 13, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    @ raidmagic… I can’t wait til that liar Dwight coward is gone. After I spoke highly of him and defended him, he lied to the city and all of central Florida. He better not show up next season at amway in any uniform. It will be worse than what Cleveland gave lebron.

  17. socal9er - Jul 13, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    Chris Paul is not walking away from $20 mil in the extra year. Why does everyone keep mentioning him to every city with cap room.. Sorry is staying with Clips or going to be an expensive SNT

  18. baned0n - Jul 13, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    So how about instead of the Bulls matching Asik, they work a sign and trade with the Rockets where the Rockets get Asik and the Bulls get Scola? Gotta be cheaper than paying Asik. I’m sure there’s salary cap implications I’m not considering for the Bulls.

  19. metroplexfrog - Jul 14, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    That would be an interesting trade. Howard is good but I’m not sure he can take a team and carry them far into the playoffs. Who is going to play point for them.

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