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Report: Rockets trying to land Dwight Howard AND Josh Smith

Jul 3, 2013, 12:01 AM EDT

Dwight Howard wants the Rockets to add a third star, and Josh Smith is Houston’s backup plan to Howard.

It was only a matter of time until these plans merged.

Sam Amick of USA Today:

According to two people with knowledge of the situation, the Rockets’ Monday meeting with free agent forward Josh Smith in Los Angeles included a discussion about a possible partnership with him and his childhood friend from Atlanta in Howard.Smith has long been known to be on the Rockets’ radar, but he is not viewed solely as a backup plan to Howard should he decide to sign elsewhere and the possibility remains of another superteam being created with Howard and Smith joining franchise centerpiece James Harden.

The simplest way to get Smith to the Rockets would be a sign-and-trade, but the Hawks, who covet Howard themselves, probably wouldn’t agree to a deal that helps Houston until Howard has already signed with Houston.If the salary cap is set at the expected $58.5 million, the Rockets don’t even have enough cap room to offer Howard a max contract, which would start at $20,513,178. However, Houston could get there by waiving James Anderson , Greg Smith, Patrick Beverley and Tim Ohlbrecht – all of whom have fully unguaranteed contracts – and applying the stretch provision to Royce White. But that would leave few eliminate a couple assets (Smith and Beverly) Atlanta might find appealing in a sign-and-trade.Maybe the Hawks like Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, or if not the Rockets could trade those two elsewhere to clear room for signing Smith outright, but Houston could take back only minimal salary in return.Howard and Smith pairing up in Houston is possible, but it would take plenty of finagling on the Rockets’ part.

  1. rickyspanish - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    If Houston pulls that off, holy crap are they going to be good.

    • valarmorghuliss - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:57 AM

      No they won’t, they really really won’t

    • loubearkane - Jul 3, 2013 at 8:53 AM

      Josh Smith is not very good , if he played on the block he is good but he likes to play gunner and gun from behind the arc

    • fanofthegame79 - Jul 3, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      They won’t have much of a team after stripping down to get Howard and Smith.

      • thatstinks - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:11 PM

        If they can fine Josh for every stupid outside shot he takes they can easily get most of that coin back .

  2. anhdazman - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    So they’d have a big 3 and Parsons, but the depth would be absolute nobodies.

    • loubearkane - Jul 3, 2013 at 8:54 AM

      Big 2 and Josh Smith

    • shanelsweet - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      Here of late, there’s been plenty of well known players wrapping up their careers at the vet minimum. It’s the new NBA.

  3. deavn - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    I think the Rockets would have to give up more than they need to for Josh Smith.

    • hehateme2 - Jul 3, 2013 at 7:57 AM

      All team are now trying to copy the HEAT> Good luck with that…

      • money2long - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM

        do you not remember karl malone and gary payton signing with shaq and kobe ?

      • dezglobal - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:35 AM

        and losing in 5 games to the Pistons.

  4. qpoiu1 - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Giving up Asik on a sign-and-trade with Atlanta wouldn’t be bad because they want a starting center in order to finally slide Al Horford to PF…I would trade Lin also if Atlanta likes him

    • qpoiu1 - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:11 AM

      I’m saying that only considering that the Rockets sign Howard…if they don’t, only Lin should be available

    • knodtl1 - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:22 AM

      Asik isn’t a free agent, they could trade him and then he might immediately sign an extension or something, a sign and trade doesn’t really work.

    • danfrommv - Jul 3, 2013 at 3:22 AM

      Lin’s backloaded contract is a poison pill. He isn’t worth $15M per year, yet makes it for the last 2 years of his contract. That’s why the NY Knicks let him go. NO ONE WILL TAKE THAT CONTRACT unless they unload one equally bad. There aren’t that many that are equally bad.

      • Kurt Helin - Jul 3, 2013 at 7:18 AM

        The way Lin’s contract was structured, it was back loaded if the Knicks took it on, but now it is just $8.3 million each of the next two years. You can say that is too much, but there is not a $14 million year coming.

      • loubearkane - Jul 3, 2013 at 8:57 AM

        Asik has the same poison pill in his deal

      • cmehustle - Jul 3, 2013 at 3:24 PM

        Whoa Kurt, dont kill us with facts here! lol

      • rohlo - Jul 3, 2013 at 4:17 PM

        yeah the contracts were only poison pills if their original teams matched..the contracts for asik and lin are 8 mill in last year which isnt all the horrible..

  5. htownred34 - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    It’s a longshot, but why not give it a try… Personally i would love to shed lin’s contract and if that means trading asik too go ahead

  6. sanders082 - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    that sounds like the worst big 3 ever. you’ve basically gutted your team to add two of the most overrated players in the NBA. Howard and Smith.

  7. knodtl1 - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    Just tell Dwight what he wants, get him to sign and then forget about the 3rd player. But If they REALLY want Smith they need to get rid of Lin and trade for a less quality starter (one that complements Harden more, but likely less quality…hopefully) and they would need to pull of a couple of Thomas Robinson type deals, Asik is a possibility for trade but I think they should try to trade Terrence Jones and Beverley for a first rounder from a top team and maybe a second rounder or a young project, in my dreams maybe Giannis Adetokunbo and a second rounder and stash him for a year. Because if Smith is on that team, we are talking likely the best transition team in the NBA.

  8. bknowledge - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    If Golden State can find a third team that will give up a first round pick for Bogut, they can work a three team sign and trade for Dwight where they get Dwight, Lakers get picks, and the third team gets Bogut. I can see a bunch of teams that might be interested in taking a chance on Bogut’s expiring deal (Cavs, Atlanta, Charlotte, Pelicans, Philadelphia, Washington, possibly Boston (in exchange for Kris Humphries salary).

    A 3 team trade between Atlanta, Lakers, and GS also works with:
    GS gets Dwight and Josh (35 mil combined)
    Lakers gets first round picks from GS and Atlanta
    Atlanta gets Bogut, Richard Jefferson, Harrison Barnes (26 mil) and Carl Landry (on sign and trade at about 6 mil per to make the numbers work)…

    Not that it would happen, but…
    Brandon Rush
    Klay Thomposon
    Steph Curry
    with David Lee and Jarret Jack off the bench!!!

    • cullenand99 - Jul 3, 2013 at 1:05 AM

      LOL at the Pelicans being interested in taking on Bogut’s 14,000,000 dollar salary. Have you not paid attention to what they’ve been doing the past week?

  9. crtzinc - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Seriously laughable…What team in their right mind would take a back loaded Jeremy Lin contract. This illusion ends right there.

    • sportsnut101 - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:29 AM

      asik I would take no problem dude stepped up major last season earned his contract Not so much for Lin

      But if Howard wants a team with jsmooth atl has plenty of cap. Go back home

      Or take less then max n jsmooth take less then max Rockets have no pg if they trade Lin n waive Beverly I wouldn’t waive smith either he played nice for the team

      Jsmooth is a jump shooting big man how does that fit I with Howard game.

      I would call Howard bluff n say listen sign with us or go to la n play with the roster n coach u don’t like or go to Dallas n play with dirk n no1 else they have no assets for sign n trade
      Houston is the fav Hands down

    • edwardc81 - Jul 3, 2013 at 8:36 AM

      Dude you’re laughable they said last year joe Johnson had the worst contract ever and it could never be moved. Or bargs contract from Toronto couldn’t be moved but both of them were. But a two year contract expiring next year for a decent starting point guard can’t be moved. You’re funny dude!

    • rohlo - Jul 3, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      lins contract isnt back was only backloaded if their orig teams matched their contracts in asik and lin..he is making 8 mil this year and next , not 15 million!!!

  10. patfic15 - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    I hope this never happens because I loathe Dwight Howard.

  11. sportsnut101 - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    Parsons is a rising star harden superstar n u rather pass n that for dirk n Vince carter. Or Kobe who doesn’t pass u the ball n old man Nash n coach who doesn’t use u in off lol

    If I’m rockets I just sign jsmooth n move on asik is good enough for center n just fill out the bench they can get to finals with
    Harden jsmooth parsons asik n another good player off the bench

  12. valarmorghuliss - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    J Smoove is as inconsistent as they come, he still thinks he has an outside jumper, which he doesn’t and comes up with ridiculous shot selections far too often. Dwightmare is self explanatory.

    Looks pretty and exciting but won’t win a thing.
    Let the Rockets have them both, they won’t win many playoff games with them.

  13. malcolmaaron2 - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    If the Rockets used Yao Ming to help make a sales’ pitch to Dwight Howard then I don’t think they’re going to trade Jeremy Lin. Moreover if they do so they’ll totally lose their market in China. Only a stupidass team like the Knicks would throw away that kind of money in the name of “winning” only to still lose in the end.

  14. danfrommv - Jul 3, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    This scenario would seem to be fantasy unless they unload Asik and Lin.
    With the ridiculous backloaded contract of Lin, I don’t see this happening.
    Houston execs are spinning this tale to get DH to sign.
    When he signs, they will no longer pursue a 3rd max player, because of the contracts they have that no one wants (Asik and Lin are #2 and #1 in that category)

    • aboogy123456 - Jul 3, 2013 at 7:45 AM

      Yea that’s a great point, and I think this is the issue with signing with houston. If Howard signs with Houston, they are pretty much stuck with this roster because they won’t be able to move asik and lin to get space. It would be a really good team, maybe a contender, but it’s not flexible and I don’t think they would clearly be good enough to get Howard to take a huge risk and leave the lakers.

  15. tomtravis76 - Jul 3, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    If Howard and Smith want to play with Harden in Houston, you know what they need to do…sacrifice money for opportunities at titles. The boys in Miami all took much less than the max dollars they could have gotten with other teams.

  16. aboogy123456 - Jul 3, 2013 at 7:42 AM

    This is not going to happen, this just sounds like a way to entice Howard to sign with houston, “look dwight! we are trying to get a third max player like you wanted!” Too bad they can’t do it, good luck houston fans.

  17. jah1z - Jul 3, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    Rockets Fan here….

    The Author and some of the fans here, got information wrong. Right now, the Rockets ALREADY cleared 20.5 millions to sign Howard outright. The Thomas Robinson trade to Portland was the deal that added the 3.5 millions to what we already had in cap space at 18 millions.

    So, we can acquire Howard out right. No problem there. Then, with Josh Smith, we take Asik (8.3) and Jeremy Lin (8.3) to trade to the Hawk for a sign and trade with J. Smith to the Rockets. The Hawks want Asik. We don’t have to trade Lin, really. The CBA rules says in a sign and trade, the numbers doesn’t habe to match but be within 150% of the deal. So, adding Lin makes it work unless the Hawks want other pieces or a pick.

    The deal for Smith (if Howard signs with the Rockets) will still net us 2.5 in cap space.

  18. eboneseagles - Jul 3, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    This is kind of the lakers all over again. They’re getting the big baby that is Howard and a hyped up name player (Smith) for what they think is a super team, but is actually a benchless mess where everyone on the roster hates each other.

  19. scalfor3 - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    Basketball-wise, this makes no sense. Howard and Smith both need to be in the paint to be successful. Wouldn’t you be better off getting a guy like Millsap who can actually hit the midrange J?

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