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NBA @ 2: Four-Team Trade For Dwight Howard?
Posted By Bill Ingram On December 14, 2011 @ 2:00 pm In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
Editorial Note: Now that the NBA lockout is over and free agency is in full swing, HOOPSWORLD will resume our daily report format featuring three updates: The NBA AM, The NBA @ 2, and The NBA PM, providing readers updates throughout the day on the news and rumors running across the NBA.
Four-Team Trade For Dwight Howard?
For the last week the New Jersey Nets have been the likely top choice to land free agent center Nene, however last night the Denver Nuggets agreed to terms with Nene on a five-year contract, leaving the Nets with only one option. According to multiple sources the New Jersey Nets are working on a complicated four-team trade in an effort to pry All-Star center Dwight Howard away from the Orlando Magic.
Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski introduces the concept of the four-team deal, citing league sources, while ESPN’s Marc Stein and Chad Ford add some levels of detail. The Nets are reportedly offering Brook Lopez and Portland Trail Blazers forward Gerald Wallace as the cornerstones of their latest offer for Howard. The Nets are looking to sweeten the deal for Orlando by taking not only Hedo Turkoglu’s long-term contract, but also that of Chris Duhon.
There’s no word yet on who the fourth team might be, but from what we know this offer is likely D.O.A. in Orlando. The premise would likely require the Blazers to take back either Hedo Turkoglu or involve a sign-and-trade for Kris Humphries, though neither seems likely to fly with the Blazers. Portland chased Turkoglu before they acquired Gerald Wallace, but now Wallace is firmly engrained in their long-term plans and previous attempts to acquire him have been met with a less than lukewarm response from Portland. Kris Humphries is hardly the piece that gets it done, either, despite shedding his Kardashian baggage.
Sources close to the situation in Orlando tell HOOPSWORLD’s Steve Kyler that nothing has changed since Monday, when the Magic made it clear they were not interested in trading Dwight Howard at this time.
Howard is definitely caught between a rock and a hard place, both wanting to build a champion in Orlando and wanting to maximize his chances at winning a championship by moving on. The thing is, the Magic realize they have to improve or lose him, and trading for Big Baby Davis and amnestying Gilbert Arenas are two significant moves in the right direction.
The fact is, the Magic are very interested in consummating a trade with the Nets, one that would make Williams and Howard teammates. It’s just that the move Orlando is pushing for would send Deron Williams to Orlando, not Dwight Howard to New Jersey.
In reality, it is the New Jersey Nets who are in trouble. The big name free agents are off the market, the Nets’ cap space is not the useful tool that it once seemed to be. They are now faced with overpaying for someone like Samuel Dalembert is they want to add a center next to Brook Lopez, and Jamal Crawford is the best free agent on the market, but he does not address an immediate need for the Nets.
It seems Dan Fegan, who represents both Dwight Howard and Nene, has done good friend Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks a significant favor. In guiding Nene to Denver he has stripped the New Jersey Nets of their best shot at getting Dwight, while also making it very difficult for the Nets to put the kind of team on the court that would encourage Deron to commit long-term. All the while the Mavericks have been shedding long-term money, adding veterans with one-year deals, preparing to clear as much cap space as possible for next summer.
Don’t be surprised of the Mavs emerge as the dark horse candidate to land not only Deron Williams, but perhaps Dwight Howard, too.
Vince Carter: Mavs Old, Or Misunderstood?
On the surface it looks like the Dallas Mavericks have sacrificed their shot at repeating as NBA champions by letting key pieces slip away while adding players who are well past their prime. Vince Carter admits that age will be a factor for Dallas, while also spinning that into a positive. He also talks about how Mark Cuban lured him to Dallas, a chance to redeem himself in the Finals with former Nets teammate Jason Kidd, what matters most to him at this stage of his career, and more in this exclusive interview:
The Houston Rockets may not have had any luck in lining up their next big-name center to replace the retired Yao Ming, but they have continued to make those small, intangible moves that have sometimes yielded surprising results in the past.
This time around the under-the-radar move is signing Fresno State center Greg Smith to a two-year contract. Smith was turning the heads of NBA scouts two years ago when he was teamed up with Paul George. With opposing defenses focused on stopping George, Smith lead a one-man assault on the rim that was positively devastating.
So why wasn’t Smith more a factor in last summer’s NBA draft? Simple. When George left school to enter the NBA Fresno State was no longer a very good team and Smith seemed to lose interest.
Therein lies the rub. Smith is a beast in the paint, and can tear down the rim with the best of them, but his heart and his motivation have prevented many NBA teams from even giving him a second tough. He had a great workout in Houston during the pre-draft process and many though the second round pick that became Chandler Parsons might have been used to grab Smith. That didn’t happen, obviously, but the Rockets liked Smith enough to at least give him a shot to make the roster.
To be clear, Smith is probably not Houston’s answer at center. He’s a better option that Hasheem Thabeet, but at this point it’s hard to be much more optimistic than that. He stands just 6’9″, but his 7’2″ wingspan have lead many to believe that he could be a solid NBA player if he finds the drive from within. The drive, however, is a serious concern.
Smith could prove to be Houston’s next Chuck Hayes, and given the amount of bad luck the Rockets have had in free agency, they certainly seem due to have something good happen. Perhaps that good thing will be Greg Smith.
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