How Howard gets here:
The Magic are basically rebuilding their organization using the San Antonio Spurs blue print. There is a great article in the Orlando Sentinel that explains everything but I will include a couple quotes for the lazy people.
This past offseason, the Magic hired two products of the Spurs’ wildly prolific tree, and Magic executives have said publicly that they hope to replicate the Spurs’ success.
On June 20, the Magic hired Rob Hennigan as their new general manager. Hennigan started his post-college career as a Spurs intern in 2004 and spent a total of four seasons with the organization, ending his tenure in 2007-08 as the team’s director of basketball operations. From there, Hennigan spent four seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, whose basketball-operations department is headed by another former Spurs executive, Sam Presti.
On Saturday, the Magic hired Jacque Vaughn as their new coach. Vaughn spent the last three seasons of his playing career in San Antonio and spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach, apprenticing under Gregg Popovich.
What does this have to do with Houston? Well, Houston can give them a fresh new start like no one else can. Morey has done a great job gathering as many picks possible for Orlando. Hennigan values any pick given to him, much like Morey and like the Spurs as well.
Although Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker rightly are hailed as stars now, it’s easy to forget that they were not lottery picks.
The Spurs selected Ginobili 57th overall in the 1999 draft. The Spurs selected Parker 28th overall in the 2001 draft. San Antonio deserves credit for scouting Ginobili and Parker, for evaluating them correctly and then for developing them into the players they’ve become
If you include the Raptors lotto pick, the Mavs late 1st rd pick, and say D-Mo and Terrence Jones. That’s 4 really good first round picks. We also have a Charlotte 2nd rd pick and 2 NY 2nd round picks to throw in as well. Using picks obtained from other teams protects the Rockets in case Howard does leave because if Howard leaves we will need all of our own picks to rebuild.
So why wont the Magic wait to trade Howard to the Nets? Well they already rejected their deal once, and now it’s even worse with Humphries making $12M/yr. Who starts rebuilding with 2 players getting over paid? That is what they are trying to get rid of.
What about the Lakers? Both Brown and Phil had problems containing Bynum and I doubt a rookie GM and a rookie coach will do a better job than someone who has coached LeBron and Kobe. He also doesn’t fit into their philosophy of team first guys like Duncan and Robinson.
Atlanta might be the dark horse in this race but I don’t think they want to risk their assets on a possible rental like Houston is willing to do. I think they rather wait to see if he becomes a free agent and try and get him that way.
This leaves Houston with the best deal for what Orlando is looking for. The holdup will be how many rookies Morey is willing to let go vs. how many bad contracts he is willing to take in. A great article on this can be found here:
As you can see, the Rockets can take almost every bad contract if they wanted to, but you know Morey is not going to put the Rockets in a bad situation.
Why Howard Stays in Houston:
So now that you know how Howard will get here, let’s venture into why he will stay here. The short answer is money.
But Howard has said he doesn’t want to play in Houston….blah..blah…blah. Sure I’ve heard the same thing but people aren’t really listening to what he wants. Like Melo and others, Howard wants to have his cake and eat it too. He wants to get the max money and play in his preferred destination.
Before the new CBA came out it was possible to for stars to go where they wanted and still get paid. Now it’s a little bit harder because you can’t sign & trade to teams that paid the luxury tax the season before. So say good bye to the Nets and Lakers.
If Orlando trades Howard to Houston, his options to go to a preferred market go way down. He would be left picking between Dallas and Atlanta. That’s where the money factor comes in.
The reason Howard opted in his last year in Orlando was not because of the threat of going to Houston, it was the threat of becoming a free agent and losing out on a max 5 year deal. He knew if he came to Houston, they would not trade him to the Nets. He thought his best chance of getting to Brooklyn with his Bird Rights attached was with Orlando. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND and explains why everything is happening the way it is.
This is also the reason his agent keeps saying to Houston that Howard won’t resign because as soon as he’s traded here the Brooklyn and LA dreams are gone. As long as he’s still a Magic, he thinks there is still hope of him going to Brooklyn. But I think the Magic have wised up and doing what is better for them than for Howard.
After Howard is traded to Houston, the bitching will stop. There is no way he will pass up $25M of guaranteed money. Houston’s population is almost twice that of Dallas, and Atlanta is way lower on the list. This is important because of even more money from Adidas.
Derrick Rose just got a $260M contract extension from Adidas. Now that the NY and LA markets are no longer available, and Rose taking up the Chicago market, Houston is left as the next biggest city. And for those who look it up and see that Houston and the Dallas/Ft. Worth areas are nearly the same with about +6 million people you are not factoring the Yao effect still lingering around.
The Rockets are still China’s favorite team. We were losing traction but Lin helped secure that position again. And guess whose games were being watched more than the Super Bowl when China was interested… yup the Rockets. You don’t think Adidas would love to advertise to an audience greater than the Super Bowl for a fraction of the price? Can you see where it’s always about money?
So it’s not only $25M he is giving up from the 5th year and bigger raises, it’s also the extra $50M-$70M Adidas would also give him for signing in Houston rather than Dallas. So now it’s not $25M he’s passing on, it’s more like $75M-$100M. Now the Dallas option isn’t looking so great.
Other Factors that Keep Howard Here
Now that he sees that he will make the most money here and will become even more popular internationally, there is also that winning a championship part.
Houston even after the trade will be set up really well next summer to add another star to the roster. With Howard and Lin anchored in you can go after a player like Iggy or Josh Smith to make your BIG 3 that everyone seems to have now. Along with either Lamb or Motiejunas still on the team along with Parson, then you have a chance to compete long term for a championship next to OKC.
Conclusion for the Laziest People
Rockets get Howard from Orlando because they have the best package they want. And he stays in Houston because he won’t pass up on an EXTRA $75M-$100M from his 5th year and shoe money from Adidas.