Rockets reportedly considering amnestying Luis Scola to facilitate Dwight Howard trade

With Brooklyn reportedly out of the Dwight Howard trade sweepstakes, the Houston Rockets are seen as the new favorites to make a trade for the big man. It was once thought that the Rockets could end up with Andrew Bynum in a trade that would send Howard to the Lakers. But according to the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets are now negotiating directly with the Magic and the Magic are intrigued.

But to pull of such a deal, the Rockets need to create some cap room. And that’s why they’re reportedly considering amnestying forward Luis Scola and his $21 million guaranteed salary.

With the Brooklyn Nets going another direction, the Rockets could be in the driver’s seat to land disgruntled Orlando Magic star center Dwight Howard. The problem, as it has been for months, is getting the continuing talks to go far enough.

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.

It’s already been well publicized that the Rockets are fine with taking the gamble that Howard won’t re-sign with them next season. And if you’ve been paying attention to all their offseason moves, they’ve seemingly all in on getting Dwight Howard.

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