Although several rival teams now believe that the Rockets are determined to stockpile a fistful of first-round draft picks to offer Orlando for Howard, sources say there are other established players they're interested in acquiring. One of them, sources say, is Atlanta Hawks swingman Josh Smith, who also happens to be one of Howard's closest friends.
What could Houston send back? Well, one of those first round picks along with, say, the also-expiring contract of Kevin Martin could be a start.
Assuming they could work out the salary cap implications of Josh Smith's 15 percent trade kicker, the Hawks could at least get a first round pick for Smith if they aren't willing to entertain an extension beyond this season or are convinced Josh will not re-sign with the Hawks under any circumstances once he becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Assuming their master plan is successful, then the Rockets will have both Smith and Howard to convince to re-sign.
Exit Question: Is a first round pick and Kevin Martin enough to get you all to sign off on trading Josh Smith?