Houston Rockets Consider Amnestying Luis Scola to Chase Dwight Howard

by July 12, 2012

The Rockets continue to up the ante in their desperate attempts to regain relevance in the NBA (by signing a superstar such as Dwight Howard), as they reportedly are willing to amnesty forward Luis Scola to make room for a mega-salary on their books. Per the Houston Chronicle: “Talks on Wednesday grew ‘serious,’ and the sides at one point seemed close to an agreement, according to a person familiar with the process. But the Magic backed off to consider their options. The Rockets are open to the three-team deal in which they would receive Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum, with Howard going to the Lakers, but are primarily working directly with the Magic to acquire Howard, the individual with knowledge of the talks said. Getting in position for the planned next move will be difficult. To create enough cap room for the kind of blockbuster trade that has been proposed, the Rockets are considering making veteran forward Luis Scola an amnesty cut, likely in the next 48 hours, a person with knowledge of the move said. That would create enough cap room for the Rockets to take on the additional contracts necessary to complete a trade for Howard. Scola, 32, is due $21 million guaranteed over the next three seasons. The Rockets could wait until Tuesday to make Scola an amnesty cut, by which he would receive his full guaranteed salary but not count against the salary cap or luxury tax figures. The Rockets’ chances to land Howard greatly improved Wednesday when Brooklyn, Howard’s preferred destination, removed itself from the race. The Nets signed center Brook Lopez to a four-year deal worth $60.8 million. Orlando general manager Rob Hennigan called reports the Magic had broken off trade talks in general ‘false.’ The Rockets were in contact with the Magic throughout the day Wednesday, a person with knowledge of the process said. For the Rockets, a key to either deal would be the ability to take on the contracts of as many as three Orlando veterans.”