UPDATE: Via Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Houston Rockets have decided to use the amnesty provision on forward Luis Scola.

This from the Houston Chronicle:

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.

I had discussed the possibility of this nuclear option many times throughout the season: it would give the team the ability to take back the garbage contracts of the Orlando Magic, offering that team a full-fledged opportunity to reload.

As this is a family blog, I won’t go deep into the financial ramifications of the various potential possibilities at this moment – we’ll cross that bridge when it comes.  But there are several bad contracts any of which could be assigned to the Houston Rockets in mere days.

Contrary to popular belief, Hedo Turkoglu, owed $12million next year, is the least sinister amongst this group.  With just one year remaining, despite the lump sum, that’s a pill that is palatable.  Glen Davis (owed $6.4mill~ each of the next three years), and Jason Richardson (owed $5.8million, $6.2million, and $6.6million in the next three years) are the guys who will hurt.

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in musings

It was confirmed today by ESPN.com that the Houston Rockets are exploring scenarios that would bring them either Dwight Howard directly from Orlando or Andrew Bynum as compensation for their role in facilitating a deal.  Either acquisition would be a giant step for the franchise.

As several prominent national sources opined, talks with Brooklyn are in critical condition – any deal would be contingent upon a S&T of Brook Lopez; any acceptance by Lopez elsewhere of an offer sheet would take him out of play until December.

From the start, it made little to no sense that Orlando would accept Brooklyn’s rumored package.  I personally would actually pay money to not have Brook Lopez on my books at max dollars than to have him tying up that amount.  The latter scenario, which in a deal with Orlando would have been the Magic’s return for the league’s best center, is a recipe for mediocrity.  My suspicion is that word of those talks were leaked to drive up the price for competing bidders.

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in essays

Marcus Camby ended the 2011-12 season as a relevant big man in a league lacking such commodities, knowing he could contribute on a title contender on the final contract of his career, and still make a pretty good chunk of change doing so.

Looking at these parameters, Houston wasn’t a realistic fit. As presently constituted, the Rockets are A) not willing to sign anyone to a long term guaranteed contract, and B) not competing for a title. Thankfully, all the contenders that wanted to sign Camby were unable to do so at a price higher than the veteran’s minimum.

The result? An advantageous sign-and-trade with the Knicks that, as far as typically speck of dust deals go, was FANTASTIC for Houston. In return for roughly two months of Camby’s services, the Rockets received Jerome Jordan, Josh Harrellson, Toney Douglas, a second round pick in 2014, and a second round pick in 2015. Let’s break this haul down, shall we? [read more…]






in essays
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So we waited for about an hour and a half today before we were let in to the court.  Arriving at 11:30, I put in enough on the parking meter to last me till 2.  Lucky for me because I was expecting to get out of there by 1.

When we got in, they were doing what you see in the video above.  Exciting, I know.  (No danger of exceeding the two minute limit.)  Patrick Patterson, like yesterday, sat against the basket support and watched.  He pointed out instructions to Greg Smith from time to time when the latter would mess up.  At just like 24 or 25, Pat is now the elder statesman on this team.

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There weren’t many of us there today which came as a bit of a surprise.  I shot a little bit of practice footage and got a few interviews.  I’ll do more tomorrow for sure.

We’re only allowed to upload two minutes of practice footage online due to new league regulations.  What you see is the first two minutes I shot.  Not to be a tease but what happened afterwards was pretty good too.  Now that I think about it, I would honestly say that other than Game 7’s of playoff series’, summer league and the associated sessions is easily the most intense NBA-level or psuedo-NBA-level basketball in the entire world.  You hadguys with near NBA talent squaring off with NBA contracts on the line with Daryl Morey and Sam Hinkie in the house watching from the sidelines.  One head-turning possession could very well be the difference between just getting by financially and a six-figure salary.

Notice Jeremy Lamb break some ankles in the above clip.  Also notice Chandler Parsons take a charge, much to everyone’s mocking delight.

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