Would a three team trade with Houston and Orlando be possible? The center pieces would be Batum in a sign and trade to Orlando, Howard to Houston, and we get Houston's 2014 unprotected 1st round pick. Why? Houston has gone all in on Howard. They have lost there best players, outside of Martin, in Lowry, Dragic, and Scola. Howard says he won't sign an extension with them. They could be really bad in 2014 if they do acquire Howard and he doesn't resign. With Howard there for a year there draft pick won't be a lucrative one in 2013. If Howard leaves I don't see how they land free agents. They wouldn't have enough pieces to significantly improve through trades. Potentially we could get a top 5 pick or maybe even the top pick.
Undoubtedly other pieces would need to be involved. Houston has a lot of pieces they could move. Maybe something like Jermey Lamb to Orlando and Chandler Parsons to Portland. I know no one would be popping the corks off of champagne bottles if we landed Parsons, but I think the kid is a sleeper. He reminds me of a wing version of Tom Chambers. Really like his toughness, decision making, finishing ability, and his salary. Plus he's very young and developing yet ready to start at the 3 now. Lamb and Batum would be a good get for the start of a rebuild. Maybe Orlando would want more from Houston.
I have a suspicion Batum is going to set some records for pouting if he resigns with us and stays. I hope I'm wrong if he does stay. It just seems to be a common reaction for him. I wouldn't mind seeing him get his wish of leaving Portland to be more of a dynamic scorer. I would just rather see him be shipped to a lottery bound team.