Get the very latest news, notes and rumors surrounding 2012 NBA Trade Deadline.
Steve Kyler – 03/13/12 8:20 p.m. EST
So the Dwight Howard story continues…
ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that during a Conference Call with magic executives Dwight Howard told the team that he would not be opting-in to his contract.
Stein goes on to report that Magic officials asked him why he told people today that he would , with Stein’s source saying Howard “didn’t fully understand the ramifications” of surrendering his Early Termination Option.
ESPN is reporting that the Magic are continuing to field trade calls involving Howard, and that New Jersey is still very much in the mix for Howard.
More as this crazy story develops…
Alex Raskin – 03/13/12 6:55 p.m. EST
With Dwight Howard reportedly opting in with the Magic, many expected the Nets to start shopping soon-to-be free agent Deron Williams. The prevailing wisdom had been that Williams would only re-sign with the Nets if they added Howard before moving to Brooklyn next season.
However, the Nets aren’t willing to trade Williams before the deadline, league sources have told HOOPSWORLD. The team believes Williams will re-sign if they can make themselves competitive in the offseason. They’re also not sure they’d be able to get significant pieces back in a trade.
Alex Raskin – 03/13/12 6:50 p.m. EST
The Magic had been rumored to be interested in acquiring Atlanta forward Josh Smith, but sources have told David Aldridge that there have been “no discussions” between the two teams.
Steve Kyler – 03/13/12 6:17 p.m. EST
The New Jersey Nets have a tough decision to make… with word leaking out that Dwight Howard will opt-in to the final year of his contract, the Nets may have lost out on the second star they were hoping to pair with Deron Williams.
Nets source say that Deron’s situation is not nearly as connected to Dwight Howard as one might think, and that they are not sold Deron will leave the team even if the club misses on Howard.
During All-Star Weekend in Orlando, well connected NBA sources pegged Williams as headed to Dallas if things didn’t come together in New Jersey, so the Nets will have a tough decision to make in the next 20 plus hours.
Do the Nets hold on to Williams or do they panic and trade him rather than risk losing him in July?
Eric Pincus – 03/13/12 3:48 p.m. EST
Sources confirm, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowksi, that the Los AngelesLakers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Portland Trail Blazers are in talks to bring Michael Beasley to LA, Jamal Crawford to the Wolves and possibly Steve Blake back to the Blazers.
The Lakers have been trying to get Beasley since the offseason but weren’t partial to taking on his $ 6.3 million salary without sending out additional payroll in return. The Lakers would be on hook for Beasley’s entire salary in taxes, even if they only pay a small porition for the remainder of the season.
Blake, if in the prospective deal, has been a steadying force on the bench but he’s set to make $ 8 million over the next two years. If LA did send out the reserve guard, they’d likely have another deal lined up to acquire a point.
The Wolves have been looking for a legitimate two-guard for some time and Crawford would clearly fit the bill. The Blazers have been struggling and are looking to preserve cap space.
More as it develops.
Bill Ingram – 03/13/12 1:50 p.m. EST
Adding to the Dwight Howard frenzy, one option being explored now that Monta Ellis is gone is the possibility of Orlando acquiring Josh Smith from the Atlanta Hawks. The rub is that the Magic would need a third team to get involved to make a trade work for Atlanta, and that team could be the Minnesota Timberwolves and Michael Beasley. That’s just one of myriad scenarios out there regarding the ever more popular Beasley.
Alex Raskin – 03/13/12 1:52 p.m. EST
The Magic are prepared to trade center Dwight Howard if he doesn’t opt in to the final year of his contract, ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard is reporting.
Orlando’s front office reportedly believes that Howard is trying to manipulate the proceedings, so they’ve begun telling teams that they will deal him before Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline if he doesn’t make some commitment to the Magic for after this season.
Broussard is also reporting that the Magic are furious with Howard’s agent Dan Fegan, claiming that the veteran representative is the one who’s pushing Howard out of Orlando. Specifically, the suspicion, reportedly, is that Howard and Fegan are trying to get to the Nets as a free agent this summer so the team doesn’t have to be gutted at the Thursday’s deadline to acquire Howard in a trade.
If they didn’t have to trade for Howard, the Nets could keep their multiple first-round picks, center Brook Lopez and shooting guard MarShon Brooks.
Steve Kyler – 03/13/12 12:29 p.m. EST
With the dust settling around Dwight Howard’s bomb last night, suggesting that the Magic “roll the dice” and hang on to him for the balance of the season has sparked some discussion that all of this is a sham by Howard.
The prevailing thought is that Howard simply wants to stay with playoff bound Magic, instead of being traded to New Jersey where the Playoffs are almost out of reach.
Equally, reports that suggest that Howard is telling the Magic what they want to hear so New Jersey does not have to give up assets for him in trade, are a common theme.
There are a few things about this… win, lose or draw Dwight Howard is testing the waters of Free Agency and Brooklyn will likely be his first stop in July.
Its long been believed that Howard will join Deron Williams in Brooklyn for the next 4 years, however the wrinkle that surfaced during NBA All-Star is that both Howard and Williams desire a third significant player before either would commit to a long-term future in Brooklyn.
The prevailing belief is that New Jersey will need to make a deal before the trade deadline to rid themselves of long term money, hence their talks with Charlotte surrounding the ending contract of Boris Diaw and a CJ Miles discussion with Utah centered on moving off Johan Petro and Anthony Morrow.
Magic fans have been saying the team should simply dump Howard now, however if the demands for a third significant player in Brooklyn are true, the Nets may not be able to give their assets to Orlando, they may need them along with draft picks and some cap room to go after a Josh Smith, Andre Iguodala or Monta Ellis-type player.
Sources in New Jersey are adamant that if they can get Howard now, they would trigger a trade, the question remains how much can New Jersey give the Magic if they have to have assets to get that third chip?
Bill Ingram – 03/14/12 12:14 p.m. EST
The Washington Wizards were walking around the visitors’ locker room in American Airlines Center in Dallas last night looking like a bunch of deer in headlights with the trade deadline approaching. HOOPSWORLD’s Derek Page took the pulse of the team and the general feeling is that just about anyone not named John Wall could be moved. Check out that full story here!
Bill Ingram – 03/14/12 11:30 a.m. EST
One of the hot topics around the NBA this morning is Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley. The Timberwolves have basically been considering giving him away for a first round pick, as they don’t plan to pay him this summer anyway, but now so many teams are calling with offers that it seems the Wolves may get a solid piece to help them in this season’s playoff effort. The Orlando Magic have offered Jason Richardson, but the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and a few other teams remain in the mix, as well.
Bill Ingram – 03/14/12 11:00 a.m. EST
This morning seems a little bit like a throwback to last year’s trade deadline, with the rumors surrounding Dwight Howard taking just a moment off to give way to . . .Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony, the subject of incessant rumors that eventually led him to be traded to the New York Knicks, is supposedly telling people he’s ready to be traded elsewhere because Knicks management doesn’t trust him to give input on personnel moves.
In other words, he’s starting to feel the heat from Knicks fan who see him as the primary cause for the team’s struggles and he wants to quickly deflect the attention.
One report has Anthony looking for a trade away from the Knicks, another has his agent – Leon Woods – denying the report, and still another has Knicks owner Jim Dolan saying he will not trade Anthony under any circumstances.
Stay tuned . . .
Eric Pincus – 03/13/12 1:00 a.m. EST
While some sources are claiming the Los Angeles Clippers are in talks with the Utah Jazz for Raja Bell, those close to the team deny Los Angeles has any interest in the veteran guard.
The Clippers would like to add in a defensive-minded two guard who can score, but Bell doesn’t appear to be on their wish list. Raja’s $ 3.2 million salary fits easily into LA’s $ 3.8 million trade exception and wouldn’t cost a first-round pick but given Bell’s age and $ 3.5 million salary next year, he just doesn’t appeal to the Clippers.
The younger C.J. Miles might be more attractive (also at $ 3.7 million a player who fits in LA’s exception) but he’s probably not someone the Clippers would give up Eric Bledsoe or a first-round pick to attain.
Sources tell HOOPSWORLD that the Utah Jazz and New Jersey Nets have discussed deal that would swap Miles for pieces like Anthony Morrow and Johan Petro. The Nets would like to trim off as much salary as possible for the offseason, when they hope to attain the services of center Dwight Howard. Miles has an expiring deal while both Morrow and Petro have another at a combined $ 7.5 million.
It remains to be seen what the Jazz intend to do with their $ 10.9 million trade exception from the Mehmet Okur trade but they are a team with tremendous flexibility.
Bill Ingram – 03/13/12 11:00 p.m. EST
After the Orlando Magic defeated the Miami HEAT on Tuesday night Dwight Howard told the media that he has been talking to the Magic’s front office guys for the last three weeks and his message is this: he doesn’t want to be traded. He feels like there is something special going on with this year’s team and he wants to ride it out and see how far they can get. He’s not willing to commit to next season before the time comes in July, so the Magic will have to “roll the dice” and gamble that he’ll be around for at least one more season.
More coming from HOOPSWORLD’s Steve Kyler and Alex Kennedy, who were involved in the conversation with Dwight.
Yannis Koutroupis – 03/13/12 8:39 p.m. EST
We have our first major deal! Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors have agreed to a deal that sends Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown to Milwaukee in exchange for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson.
Alex Kennedy – 03/13/12 8:13 p.m. EST
The San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves are discussing a three-team deal, according to sources close to the situation. Nothing is imminent, but the teams will continue to talk over the next two days.
In the rumored deal, the Spurs would acquire Josh Howard, the Timberwolves would acquire C.J. Miles and Jamaal Tinsley and the Jazz would acquire Danny Green and Wayne Ellington. Other players and draft picks will likely be included in the finalized trade.
Utah holds a $ 10.9 million traded-player exception and San Antonio holds a $ 854,400 traded-player exception as well.
Sources described the talks as ongoing, but stressed that no deal is imminent.
Steve Kyler – 03/13/12 7:05 p.m. EST
In the game of try and read the tea leaves… it’s not looking good for Orlando.
The Magic have been as aggressive as anyone trying to bring in players to beef up their squad. But with less than two days to go before all deals have to be final, the Magic do not look like a team that has a deal to make.
At least not one that doesn’t involve Dwight Howard wearing another uniform on Friday.
Magic owner Rich DeVos told several Magic players before the game that the team was a family, regardless of what happens and that they need to remain strong, and moments later he told reporters he did not think anything major was going to happen.
Magic CEO Alex Martins told reporters that he was not going to talk about specific conversations he’s had with Dwight Howard, but said there has never been a “will you stay or will you go” kind of discussion.
Martins says his club will be ready to make a decision when its time and that the Magic have heard from enough teams to know what their options are.
The Magic will fly to San Antonio after tonight’s game.
Magic sources say there have been daily “war room” type meetings to discuss the teams options, that’s expected to continue through Thursday.
Bill Ingram – 03/13/12 4:55 p.m. EST
The wheels appear to be coming off the machine in Oakland, where a number of Golden State Warriors players took some time after shootaround to talk about how much they would like to be on another team.
“I probably could go to Orlando or Chicago and get a championship,” Ellis said. “But if they don’t move me, what can I do? Hopefully — if they don’t move me — they get somebody in here so we can win and I don’t have to go through this every year.”
Tim Kawakami tweets that Andris Biedrins and Dorell Wright intimated they would also be fine with a trade.
Perhaps the Monta Ellis to Orlando talks might get started up again, given Ellis’ clear desire to get out of town.
Bill Ingram – 03/13/12 4:35 p.m. EST
The love affair between the Houston Rockets and Kevin Martin continues to be on-again-off-again, and now it’s more off than on. Martin, according to a source close to the Rockets shooting guard, is tired of being pushed out of the rotation to make way for Courtney Lee. He and Lee are quite close, but Martin has had enough of head coach Kevin McHale’s unexplained rotations. Terrence Williams expressed similar frustrations over the weekend in talking with HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Raskin.
The word out of Houston is that they prefer to keep Kevin and may look to move Courtney Lee, whose agent asked for a trade over a month ago. Of course, the New Orleans Hornets have interest in Martin and would likely send Chris Kaman out in a deal. They know they’re losing Kaman anyway.
As for Courtney Lee, the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Indiana Pacers have all been linked to talks about Lee, and any of those could still be in the running.
The bigger picture in Houston – according to Martin’s camp – is that Rockets players are rapidly tiring of McHale, as well as GM Daryl Morey. Either one of both could be on the outs if Houston can’t get this thing turned around in a significant way before the end of the season.
Alex Kennedy – 03/13/12 4:04 p.m. EST
The Milwaukee Bucks won’t trade Brandon Jennings prior to Thursday’s trade deadline, according to sources close to the situation. “He’s not available,” said the source.
With that said, the Bucks continue to listen to offers for Andrew Bogut. The Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards have expressed interest in the center.
Stephen Jackson’s struggles in Milwaukee, on and off the court, have killed his trade value. If the Bucks decide to move Bogut, they will try to include Jackson in the deal.
Alex Raskin – 03/13/12 3:15 p.m. EST
As expected, the Knicks are shopping combo guard Toney Douglas, according to a report by ESPNNewYork.com’s Jared Zwerling. Douglas has been out of the rotation since Jeremy Lin emerged last month.
The team would most likely want to add depth behind center Tyson Chandler.
Alex Raskin – 03/13/12 3:12 p.m. EST
The Magic want the Lakers to get back in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, sources have told Sporting News’ Sean Deveney.
As we’ve reported here at HOOPSWORLD, the Magic are still trying to put pieces around Howard to entice him to opt in for the final year of his contract, but the front office is also listening to offers for Howard as well. And since they haven’t been offered anything better than Lakers center Andrew Bynum, they’re inclined to re-consider. Remember, the Lakers were one of the team’s Howard supposedly wanted to join, but more recent rumors have suggested that his priority is joining the Nets as they move to Brooklyn next season.
Bill Ingram – 03/13/12 1:40 p.m. EST
The Indiana Pacers continue to have a great deal of interest in landing a shooting guard, but they are unwilling to upset their core group in order to do it. They were interested in the Grizzlies’ OJ Mayo, but he is apparently off the market now, and would also love to add Houston’s Courtney Lee, whose agent would like to relocate his client to a team that would sign him to an extension. All of that said, the Pacers also really like the group they have in place and wouldn’t be opposed to finishing out the season with that group.
Alex Kennedy – 03/13/2012 1:21 p.m. EST
The Golden State Warriors and Orlando Magic have ended talks regarding a possible Monta Ellis trade, according to sources close to the situation. The Magic have been pursuing Ellis for several weeks, but the Warriors won’t trade the 26-year-old to Orlando.
Orlando was hoping that an Ellis trade might persuade Dwight Howard to opt-in to the final year of his contract. Now, with Ellis no longer an option, what’s next for the Magic?
They’ve tried to make a splashy move, but they likely don’t have the trade chips to acquire a star-caliber player. What they lack in assets, they make up for in their willingness to take back bad contracts. But they’ve been trying to land a notable player for weeks and they’ve been unsuccessful.
Sources in Orlando continue to say that the Magic won’t move Howard before the deadline. However, if they’re unable to acquire a second star and Howard reiterates his unhappiness, Orlando’s plan may change.
Jason Fleming – 03/13/2012 12:56 p.m. EST
A bit of a clarification on the intentions of the Portland Trail Blazers:
It’s been reported in various places that the reason the Blazers want to trade Crawford is because of the fear he could decline his $ 5.2 million Player Option this June and then leave for nothing.
Actually, the opposite is true.
Crawford may/will be moved specifically because of the fear he could INVOKE the option and Portland would lose that $ 5.2 million in cap space to spend this summer. They want to trade him to make sure whether he does or does not invoke the option doesn’t matter to them because he in no way, shape or form is part of whatever the team ends up being in 2012-13.
If they move Gerald Wallace, it’s because of the same reason.
The Blazers are looking for additional cap space this summer so they rebuild around Aldridge and Batum – they don’t want this worry about will or will not Wallace and Crawford invoke their Player Options so they can begin their planning as soon as possible.
Don’t give much credence to any Blazers rumor that has them taking on more money than they are sending out unless it brings them back an All-Star. And since nothing they are offering will return an All-Star…look for it to be ending contracts. If it’s a rookie scale deal, that’s a little different.
Jason Fleming – 03/13/2012 12:50 p.m. EST
Ken Berger of CBS Sports is reporting Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob has no interest in trading Monta Ellis to the Orlando Magic in a move that could theoretically help the Magic keep Dwight Howard. The Warriors still feel they can make Howard a good pitch.
As of right now the Warriors will be about $ 10 million under the cap before any draft picks and cap holds this summer. If they can clear another $ 6-8 million in cap space via another trade, they would have the ability to offer Howard a max deal and add him to Monta Ellis, David Lee and Stephen Curry.
It’s still an outside shot, but one the Warriors seem to be more comfortable pursuing rather than trading their leading scorer for spare parts that don’t fit any kind of long-term plan.
Steve Kyler – 03/13/2012 12:37 p.m. EST
Lakers’ forward Pau Gasol may not be as easy to trade as you might think.
One team source whose team had been linked to Gasol warned that while Gasol is still a very good player and that his club could use him, the size of Gasol’s paycheck is a problem for smaller market teams.
The source went on to explain that Gasol’s $ 18.7 million salary this year represents more than 32% of the salary cap, and while some very deep pocketed owners might not have issue with writing a paycheck of that size, a large number of teams would have material issue with tying up that much of the salary cap into one player for what amounts to the next two years.
The source explained that his scouting staff is enamored with what Gasol could be for his club, but that there was no way his owner could be sold on tying up that much of the cap on one guy that’s not a young, up-and-coming star.
Laker fans may want to see Gasol cashed out, and it’s likely the Lakers have arrived at the same conclusion as others, but finding a team willing to risk 32% of their cap or 27% under the tax line for Gasol seems to be a bigger undertaking than you’d expect.
Alex Kennedy – 03/13/2012 11:47 a.m. EST
It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers are searching for a starting-caliber point guard. They’ll continue to work the phones and weigh their options as the trade deadline approaches.
The Lakers love Kyle Lowry and are trying to pry him away from the Houston Rockets. However, the Rockets have held their ground and insist that they won’t trade Lowry, even in a deal for Pau Gasol. Los Angeles has several alternatives lined up, but their hope is that Houston has a change of heart and decides to part ways with Lowry.
Ramon Sessions is a more obtainable option. The Lakers have been linked to Sessions for weeks and they continue to express significant interest in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ point guard. While other teams have called about Sessions, the Lakers are believed to be the frontrunner to acquire his services, if they decide to pull the trigger on a deal.
Raymond Felton has also been mentioned as a possibility for Los Angeles. The Lakers have had discussions with the Portland Trail Blazers and that remains a back-up plan for the team.
Between the rumors swirling around Pau Gasol and their ongoing search for a point guard, the Lakers will be extremely active over the next few days.
Bill Ingram – 03/13/2012 11:20 a.m. EST
The Minnesota Timberwolves were close to a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers that would have sent Luke Ridnour to Portland for Jamal Crawford, but that seems to be completely off the table now that Ricky Rubio is out. There is still some logic to it, as Crawford can play the two, but the leadership that Ridnour brings is something the Timberwolves are reluctant to cash in.
There is some internal discussion going on about whether or not the team can still expect to make the playoffs, and they absolutely expected to make the playoffs before Rubio went down with the ACL injury. Now that he’s out, many in the front office believe the playoffs are out of reach, but with Rick Adelman you never know. He spent his entire time in Houston manufacturing wins in the wake of major injuries.
There is a reasonable chance that Crawford could still land in Minnesota, especially after the way the Timberwolves handled the streaking Suns on Monday night. But right now the Timberwolves are definitely leaning towards keeping Ridnour.
Bill Ingram – 03/13/2012 11:15 a.m. EST
The Houston Rockets are working the phones as aggressively as anyone right now, with Pau Gasol continuing to be one of their primary targets. The hang up there continues to be the Lakers’ insistence on getting an elite level point guard in the deal, and they see Kyle Lowry as a player with that kind of potential. The Rockets do too, however, and have stuck to their guns on not including him in any deal. They have explored Andrew Bogut as an alternative, though sources vary on whether those talks are dead or not.
The question becomes whether or not Houston gets desperate enough to land Gasol that they cave on giving up Lowry. Goran Dragic has played well at times, and could handle the full-time starting role if he were called upon to do so. The rub for Houston is that Gasol is just over the prime of his career, somewhat on the downside now, and even in his prime he wasn’t someone who could get out of the first round of the playoffs alone. Why would he suddenly become that player for the Rockets now? If they can get him for Luis Scola, who is at a similar stage of his career, and other assets, it makes sense. But giving up a budding young point guard like Lowry, who is now the heart and soul of the team, is a tough pill to swallow.
Sending him to the Lakers also puts Los Angeles back in the championship hunt, which is something the Rockets would really hate to do.
Steve Kyler – 03/13/2012 11:01 a.m. EST
One thing is always connected to another…
The Orlando Magic believe they can trigger a major deal to add pieces around Dwight Howard. The problem is they want some kind of decision from Dwight.
They are not asking Dwight to pledge a long-term future; they may be content with just a pledge for a short-term future.
The Los Angeles Clippers required Chris Paul to opt-in to the final year of his contract before they would give away their future for him, and it seems the Magic may be following the same course with Dwight.
If reports from RealGM’s Jarrod Rudolph are true – and he is as credible as it comes on this topic – the Magic could be looking at deals that would send out J.J. Redick, most-improved candidate Ryan Anderson, Quentin Richardson and even the monster contract of Hedo Turkoglu.
The Magic do not appear to be in the driver’s seat on this as they are the buyers in this equation and the sellers, namely the Golden State Warriors, seem to be looking at different options and scenarios.
The Magic seem willing to eat a couple of ugly contracts to land a major upgrade, such as Golden State’s Monta Ellis, but before doing that they want assurances that Dwight would stay for at least one more year.
It’s unclear at this point how Howard will react, but sources say he is reluctant to sign off on another year until Orlando shows what they can do. However, it is an interesting change in the situation.
It seems Howard might be open to it and if he opts in, how does that affect the trade landscape, especially with the New Jersey Nets and Deron Williams?
Stay tuned on this one…
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