Bill Simmons has used his HBO podcast to create another superstar trade idea for the Portland Trail Blazers. This time he's suggesting that General Manager Neil Olshey ought to pursue Houston Rockets Center Dwight Howard.
Blazers trade discussion begins at about the 30 minute mark of episode 64 of the Bill Simmons podcast. An abridged transcript of Simmons' argument follows:
Portland gets Dwight Howard. Houston gets Joe Johnson and Mason Plumlee. Brooklyn gets Ty Lawson and Tim Frazier from Portland. So Brooklyn saves $12 million, and they get a flyer on Ty Lawson, because they were going to buy out Joe Johnson anyway, so instead of buying him out, cut $10 million off your cap.
Houston would save about $8 million, and that gets them well under the tax. And you could make a case that putting Plumlee in there, playing him 20 minutes a game with [Clint] Capela and [Donatas] Motiejunas, and getting [Howard] and Lawson off the team from a chemistry standpoint - they might actually be better...
Portland's $20 million under the cap, they're going nowhere, they have no reason not to spend that money - they're owned by Paul Allen. Why not take a look at Dwight Howard for 30 games? What's the downside? Just check him out!
Simmons and Joe House, his podcast guest, go on to discuss Howard's injury history, his potential fit with the Blazers, and the likely response of the Portland "soccer moms" to the proposed trade.
Howard's name has come up repeatedly in trade rumors this month as the Rockets continue their precipitous tumble from western conference finalists last season, to playoff outsiders at the all-star break.
Portland, however, has not been publicly linked to Howard by any league sources. But it is easy to imagine Olshey hotly pursuing a 30-game rental on a malcontent who has worn out his welcome in three NBA cities, repeatedly criticized head coaches, reportedly refused to run pick and rolls with Steve Nash, and is now on the wrong side of 30. To invoke Simmons, any time a player like that is available you've got to make the deal!
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