The addition of Felton and Kidd has many wondering whether the Knicks will match the Houston Rockets offer sheet to Jeremy Lin, which could end up setting a domino effect throughout the NBA.
A large portion of Houston's bid to the Orlando Magic has been based around the cap flexibility they have to absorb several of the Magic's bad contracts in return for acquiring Howard, but if they successfully acquire both Lin and Chicago Bulls C Omer Asik, that could change.
Having Howard go to Houston would give the Dallas Mavericks a much better chance of wooing the star C in free agency than if winds up in Brooklyn or Los Angeles, which is why Mavericks fans should hope that ESPN's Marc Stein is correct in reporting that the Rockets have the flexibility to deal for Howard regardless:
Also told Rockets, even if they unexpectedly land Lin AND Omer Asik, still think they've got Dwight trade offers (yes, plural) to please ORL— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 15, 2012
If Houston has multiple trade offers lined up with Orlando, a safe assumption is that they run the spectrum between how many future assets (young players, future first-round picks) verse bad contracts they take, so acquiring Lin and Asik might mean the Rockets thrown in several more of their high-upside young prospects into the mix.
Howard's defensive presence and finishing ability on the rim would make Lin a much better player, but it's still unclear how much of an effect, if any, Lin's presence would have in his free agency decision. Playing with the cultural sensation that is "Linsanity" would probably help Howard sell shoes, as no one quite knows what Lin's appeal as a cross-over figure is outside of the media capitol of the US.
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