Budinger to Wolves; Howard to Rockets? Orlando Should Say Yes

26 06 2012

And before we even get a chance to take in that one big-time, self-important superstar got his ring, another one might soon be on the move.

After both teams started their 2011-2012 season blazing hot only to cool off down the stretch, the Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to send their 18th pick in this year’s draft to the Houston Rockets for 3-point specialist Chase Budinger and the draft rights to Isralian professional basketball player Lior Eliyahu, according to two league sources.

Budinger finished his second year with the Rockets averaging 9.6 points and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 40.2 percent from 3-point range. These numbers don’t provide a just representation of his potential or lack there of; the former Arizona Wildcat had moments throughout the season when he looked to be on the verge of breaking out of his NBA shell and others when he needed to sit right back down on the bench. His last two games provide an appropriate representation. After putting up five points in the second to last game of the year, he followed that up with 27 points to finish the season. Changing scenarios could push him in either direction, but one thing is certain: Kevin Love will no longer be the Timberwolves’ leader in 3-point attempts.

It is clear what the Rockets want: Dwight Howard.

Currently in possession of the No. 14, No. 16 and No. 18 picks in the draft and also pushing to trade Kyle Lowry and everyone else on the team (literally everyone) for even more draft picks, they are attempting to put together an offer that the Magic just can’t pass up. General Manager Daryl Morey has quickly become aggressive and determined to bring the big man to the franchise.

However, the big man would be a part of the franchise as long as Tyson Chandler lasted with the Dallas Mavericks, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com.

“A source with knowledge of Howard’s thinking said Monday that there was ‘not a chance’ Howard would be persuaded to remain in Houston if traded there, and would leave next summer to sign elsewhere,” Aldridge reported.

Will any of these players be back in a Rockets uniform next season?

The Rockets shouldn’t be surprised since Howard wants to go where he will receive a great deal of attention and where his name will be plastered all over the news media. Houston is not the place to go for that.

But Houston doesn’t care. Why?

9th place and 14th pick. 9th place and 14th pick. 9th place and 14th pick.

The Rockets have driven themselves into basketball irrelevancy, finishing each of the past three seasons literally in the middle of the pack in the exact same spot with the exact same draft pick. As management, this is the point where you must make the conscious decision to “shake things up” no matter the cost or risk.

Bringing in Howard has it’s cost. It has it’s risk. But it puts them right back on the NBA map as they will undoubtedly become somewhat important, increase revenue by simply winning and make the playoffs – finally.

The biggest consequence this could have on the league is it could change Deron Williams’s statement that he will only be going to either the Dallas Mavericks or staying with the Brooklyn Nets.

As he has made clear in one way or another the past few years, the enticing idea of playing with Howard is high on his bucket list. Why shouldn’t it be? These two All-Stars have become good friends through Olympic play and would both love to play with each other. With barely any roster spots currently guaranteed and with enough cap space to sign two max-contract players, the Rockets could do the unthinkable and bring in two game-changing players that play the two most important positions on the floor – if Williams doesn’t mind rooting for the Texas Rangers a few hours outside of Arlington.

Whenever a blockbuster trade is on the verge of taking place, people can’t help but analyze the situation from the perspective of the team that will be getting the main blockbuster piece. Orlando shouldn’t be forgotten since they couldn’t be asking for a better situation.

Obviously, the Rockets are planning something big. They want Howard badly and will gift-wrap just about every single piece that relates to the “future” in their organization. By the time Thursday’s draft arrives, they will most likely have attained a top 10 pick that they have been eyeing – in order to hook Howard, of course. In a draft so deep that Draymond Green and Royce White are projected to go in the 20s, this is the perfect year to stockpile as many picks as possible. They can get just that by working with Houston.

D12 does not know what he wants. In fact, he doesn’t know how to handle not knowing what he wants. As he has shown countless times throughout last season with his wavering attitude literally from day to day and his reliance on others telling him what to do, he is a detriment to a team’s atmosphere. If he wasn’t the best center in the league and didn’t have an larger impact than every other player in the league not named LeBron James or Rajon Rondo, he would already be out of Florida. Orlando should rid themselves of this interminable problem as soon as possible.

The biggest problem in getting this deal done is Rob Hennigan. Since he has been the Magic general manager for less than a week, he wants to do what he wants do. (Clear enough?) He hasn’t even been given the chance to be stressed out with his Howard problem and figure out what type of offers are out there.

But the stress doesn’t need to be there. Sometimes, the first offer is the best offer. Making a trade with the Rockets as soon as possible and getting this monkey off their back couldn’t be better for their organization. After the Seattle Supersonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder) traded away Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, who averaged a combined 48.8 of the team’s points during the 2006-2007 season, following yet another disappointing year, they brought in an abundance of youthful pieces. I would say that has somewhat worked out for them…

Unless the Magic enjoy killing their locker room atmosphere, hope that their current All-Star will walk this next offseason or don’t want start anew with some fresh, young talent, they should send Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets.

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2 responses

12 07 2012
Dwight Howard to the Rockets? « jay's jems

[…] dramatic piece to spark a franchise that has been stuck in the middle of the basketball world for three straight years provides a credible source in regard to NBA free agency – especially since it’s a […]

26 06 2012
Mapes

It might be good for Orlando, but does Houston really want to blow up everything just to have the big man for 1 year? Where does that leave them in 2014?

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