Huq’s Pen: More on ESPN’s hypothetical trade of Kyle Lowry to the Houston Rockets

I spent much of yesterday discussing Amin ElHassan’s proposed trade of Kyle Lowry to the Houston Rockets, both on Twitter and in a podcast.  Again, a disclaimer: this is not an actual scenario that has been reported to have been discussed.  Don’t run with this.  It’s merely speculation and Red94 is a blog.  I’m just here to entertain you.

With that out of the way, to the particulars of the deal: ElHassan proposes sending Jeremy Lin and three second rounders to the Raptors for Lowry and Austin Daye.  On the podcast, I discussed my thoughts on this, in depth, so no need to rehash that.  But one addendum I’d like to make, which I hadn’t discussed in the pod, but touched on a bit on Twitter, pertains to the long term ramifications of such a deal.

If you trade for Lowry, and you’re hoping it works out, you’re essentially locking yourself in to this roster.  Why?  As of now, the team stands to have major flexibility in the summer of ’15 upon the expiration of the Lin and Asik contracts.  By all reports, they’re guarding that flexibility at all costs.  This was why, allegedly, Daryl Morey balked at deals for Jeff Green and Thad Young last month – because those players had deals which extended into 2015.

If you trade for Lowry, it’s a safe assumption you are hoping it works out.  If it works out, and you keep him, it will probably cost you, at the least, $8million/annually to extend him.  There goes that ’15 money.

Now if it doesn’t work out, and you let him walk, your coffers are still in tact, but you lost Lin for nothing.  This is where difference of opinion takes over as I’m not of the opinion that Lin is a guy that you just give away just to get out from under his contract.  But my opinion is a minority opinion.  Most people feel that contract is an albatross and that just makes very little sense to me.  I’d only trade Lin if I got something back in return, not just to get rid of him.  But in any event…

If you bring back Lowry, and you get initial feelers that it is a long term fit, then you might as well just deal Asik for either Green or Young.  Because at that point, ’15 is out the window.  Would you all be comfortable with a nucleus of Lowry, Harden, Parsons, Howard, Green/Young (with Beverley and Jones off the bench)?  On Twitter, almost all of you were very comfortable with that and even preferred it to the scenario of waiting it out for Love.  (It’s fascinating how divergent the opinions to those of you on Twitter are from those of you who participate in the forum.)  I don’t know which way I’d lean, but I’ll say this: there’s something to taking the bird in hand.  Daryl Morey has never put his team in a position where they would be locked in to a roster and that’s essentially what you’d be doing in this scenario.  But this is also the first time since the McGrady years that he’s had a contender in his hands.  Can he really just waste precious years from Dwight Howard’s prime hoping on a longshot?  Dwight Howard is a very old 28 and I think that really needs to be carefully considered.

View this discussion from the forum.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of

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