The big story on Friday is that Dwight Howard is going to the Houston Rockets. But there are other stories as well.
Let's start with Dwight. If he is healthy, the Houston Rockets have arguably two of the best three players in the Western Conference, which is a pretty damn good place to start. They also still have a huge trade piece in center Omer Asik, who they have talked about keeping, but who must have immense value around the league after his season. Perhaps he winds up in Atlanta in a Josh Smith sign and trade? And now this:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Rockets center Omer Asik has no interest in backing up or playing next Dwight Howard, according to sources. Could force trade.</p>— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) <a href="https://twitter.com/WindhorstESPN/statuses/353283007282552833">July 5, 2013</a></blockquote>
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How this affects the Wolves: not clear. With all of today's shenanigans, it appears that there are only three teams left with cap space who could possibly go after Nikola Pekovic: the Dallas Mavericks, the Atlanta Hawks, and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Whether any of those teams will in fact try to sign Pek to an offer sheet remains to be seen. But it only takes one to drive up the price on our favorite Montenegrin.
In the meantime, the Golden State Warriors signed Andre Iguodala to a four year $48 million contract. They were able to do so after offloading $24 million in contracts to the Utah Jazz, in the forms of Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins, and Brandon Rush. Utah also received two first round picks (2014, 2017) for their $24 million, while Golden State receives a massive TPE.
One of the facets of this trade is that Utah will have to renounce Paul Millsap in order to create the space necessary to take on those contracts.
Golden State is now looking at a lineup (when healthy) of Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Lee, and Bogut, which is pretty damn good, but will not be able to bring back bench stalwarts Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry.
Today's activity also hurts the Denver Nuggets, who lose Iguodala. All of a sudden they are looking at a down year right after winning 57 games. Their Executive of the Year, Coach of the Year, and probably most valuable player are all gone, and they don't appear to know how to fix it.
Can the Wolves break into that group? If not, is 7th or 8th in their sights? Still a lot to be determined.
Hopefully now that Howard has made a decision, activity on the free agent and trade markets can resume after the flurry of shooters were locked up earlier in the week.
It's Friday evening everyone. Crack a beer. Or something. Help us figure out what all of this means.
Open thread, be open.