NBA AM: No Chance Of Howard In Chicago
Dwight And The Bulls: Before you get too crazy about the idea of Orlando’s Dwight Howard being traded to the Chicago Bulls, rest assured that Orlando sources last night openly laughed off the idea as simply not going to happen.
CBS’ Ken Berger, who is as dialed in as they come, is correct in his assertions that the teams on Dwight Howard’s so-called list of agreeable trade destinations are not offering much for the Magic’s franchise player. Berger is also correct that the Chicago Bulls have a better cast of trade assets to offer, but as Berger points out, talks with Chicago have never gone anywhere.
“The Bulls, who could offer 7-footer Omer Asik, Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer for Howard and Hedo Turkoglu, sources said. The Bulls also could offer a valuable first-round pick from Charlotte — top-14 protected in this year’s draft but unprotected by 2016.
Such a scenario has gained no traction since Chicago is “not on his list,” a person familiar with the situation said of Howard. Without assurances from Howard or his camp that he’d be willing to sign long-term with the Bulls, Chicago executives have exhibited no appetite for trade talks with the Magic. The two teams have spoken, but there’s “no type of serious discussions” going on, a person familiar with the situation said.”
The vibe in Orlando last night was that Howard was likely not being traded by Thursday’s trade deadline.
More than one source suggested that Magic president Otis Smith and Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy were simply ready for this circus to be over and could be on the side of making a deal simply to get this over with.
Those same sources said Magic CEO Alex Martins and ownership are unwaveringly opposed to making a deal involving Howard, and the final decision will come from them.
As the trade deadline inches closer Otis Smith joked in passing last night that there would be closure one way or the other on Thursday.
The question is will the basketball operation side of things get their way or will this again be a situation where ownership nixes a deal involving an uber star player?
In Related: A common topic among Magic fans is that they simply want the Magic to take a deal rather than risk losing Dwight Howard for nothing in July.
One dialed in Magic source said last night that you would be surprised how badly teams are lowballing Orlando on Howard and that none of the offers on the table have been very palatable.
The teams on Dwight’s so-called list (The LA Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey Nets) all know that Dwight is going to test his situation in July regardless of where he lands on Thursday, so none of them are offering much value to the Magic.
The idea that any of them would agree to take on a bad Magic contract such as Hedo Turkoglu or Glen “Big Baby” Davis without assurances of a new deal with Howard, is deemed laughable.
One source said that the way this has played out and with the adamant stance from Howard’s camp that he’ll shop his situation in July has all but killed the trade offers the Magic are getting. That is likely why Magic ownership is standing the line on keeping Howard because there simply isn’t much out there worth doing, according to sources.
If you are a Magic fan and you’re dreaming of a MarShon Brooks deal with tons of draft picks, that day has passed. Sources say the best offer from the Nets involved the ending contract of Memhet Okur and Jordan Farmar and a conditional draft pick.
It seems clear the Nets know they can get Howard in July, why give away all of their assets for him now?
There are deals out there, but none of them return the kinds of assets that have been speculated about and unless something more significant surfaces, do not be surprised to see Orlando sit this one out and see what surfaces in July.
There is a sense that the Magic may have gotten assurances that Dwight wouldn’t hose the team and walk away. It’s been suggested that if he indeed decides to take his talent elsewhere. Dwight would try and get the Magic a sign and trade deal, even though there is no benefit in it for Howard except that it opens the field of possible teams and would help the acquiring team move off some salary to add around Dwight.
That may not be ideal, but it seems that the Magic are not as concerned about Howard walking for nothing and that may be why they choose to wait this out.
Things You Learn At The Deadline: There are things you learn every year at the trade deadline and as the 2012 NBA trade deadline approaches on Thursday there are a few things surfacing that are changes in the thought process for most teams.
Ending Contracts Don’t Mean Much: When there were 8 to 10 luxury tax teams, acquiring an ending contract was a priority around the trade deadline. With so few teams over the tax line, the value teams placed on ending deals has all but evaporated. There are some teams with their eye on free agency, but the mad dash to land Antawn Jamison’s ending contract simply isn’t there. One dialed in source joked “ending deals just aren’t what they used to be.”
Picks Are No Longer Disposable: If I had a dollar for every trade scenario I have heard that ended with the phrase “and toss a few picks” I’d be a very wealthy man. With the new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement showing its teeth in 2013 more and more NBA teams have decided that trading their draft picks, specifically first round draft pick is going to be bad business.
Good luck getting a team, especially a team with a high payroll, to shed their draft picks. The NBA draft will soon become the cheapest place to find quality talent and with teams no longer able to just spend their way to a quality roster more of a premium is going to be placed on having your own draft picks. What was once a tool to get a deal done, trading draft picks may no longer be the toss in, but the reason for the trade in the first place.
You Can Keep Your Exception: Like the ending contract, Traded Player Exceptions are not what they used to be either. There are some teams looking to shed contracts, but the clamor to get a deal done with an Exception is much lower. Again because fewer and few teams are at the tax line, but mainly because there are so many of them out there.
As of today there are 13 valid Traded Player Exceptions – Charlotte – ($4.5 mil), Dallas – ($3.1 mil, $4.2 mil, $2.2 mil), Denver – ($7 mil), Clippers ($2.8 mil, 3.8 mil), Lakers ($8.9 mil), Oklahoma City ($1.3 mil), Portland ($1.2 mil), San Antonio – ($854K) and Utah ($10.89 mil).
It’s hardly the tool it used to be.
There Is A Reason They Call Him Baby: Let’s start this off by being clear. Glen “Big Baby” Davis is a very likeable guy. He is funny. He is a light hearted generous person.
Like most athletes he has a bit of mean streak to him. But for the most part Glen is a good guy. Which makes the fact that Magic fans have taken to booing him at home games a little surprising, and for Davis who does not have a very thick skin, it’s been downright hurtful.
“It’s real different to be booed,” said Davis. “I come from a town where they love their players. It doesn’t change my approach to the game but it doesn’t make me feel good at all.”
“My home team is booing me?” said a surprised and dejected Davis.
“I don’t try to miss my shots. I try to make every shot but that just goes to show that sometimes fans don’t know what they’re talking about and then they were doing it at a time where I was going through a lot so people don’t know but it still hurts but you still have to play the game in spite of.”
In the span of a couple of weeks in February, Davis lost his grandmother and his father within weeks of each other, so being booed by his home fans was tough.
Davis has struggled with his role coming off the bench in Orlando. He has had run ins with the Magic coaching staff and was even suspended by the team for an outburst during practice.
Teammates joke and call him Hurricane Baby because of the hot and cold temperament he displays, but the one thing that is a constant in Baby’s demeanor is his infectious smile and sense of humor.
Davis says he has decided to stop taking things so seriously, singing Justin Beiber’s Baby at the top of his lungs after last’s night win, trying to get a laugh out of teammate Dwight Howard.
“I have to have fun,” said a smiling Davis. “I can’t play any other way. I’ve realized that if I don’t have fun I can’t play any other way. I want to have fun. I want to go out there and play basketball the right way. “
“Sometimes things don’t go the right way and I try to just stay focused but I try to think too much so what else can I do? Have fun and that’s the only way I can think about playing because when you have fun you really don’t worry about it if you don’t get the ball or if somebody misses you on the screen or if somebody doesn’t help on the defensive rotation or one of the players is not really paying attention and he turns the ball over. Just stuff like that. It gets too serious out there so I just try to calm down. “
The Magic arena staff has started playing the chorus to the Beiber Baby track when Glen scores and he says he hopes they keep doing it, because it motivates him even more.
Glen admits that he under estimated how hard it would be to change teams and that he is still learning and adjusting to how the Magic do things.
“When you go to a different culture, a whole different system it’s tough,” said Davis. “It’s real tough.”
“I took it for granted. It’s hard,” Davis said the change. “This will take, for me to really get used to it, it’ll take me a whole fresh year. This is just the warm-up right now. Luckily I’ve got three more years with this team so I’ll see some better days.”
There is a reason Glen has carried the nickname Big Baby… he is an emotional passionate guy and not nearly the guy some try and paint him to be.
Notes And Scuttle: With the NBA Trade deadline just three days away here are some things that are making their way around the league:
Hawks Lukewarm On Dealing Josh Smith: Hawks’ star Josh Smith may want a trade at the NBA trade deadline, but sources close to the situation say Josh’s camp was told a deal on Thursday is unlikely, but revisiting the situation around the draft could be very real.
“I’m here. I have one more left on my deal. We have to see what happens,” Smith said to Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I just have to keep playing the way I’m capable of playing and keep doing what I’m doing and not worry about any outside distractions.”
Sources say the Hawks have had a number of discussions about moving Josh Smith, but nothing seemed real or imminent and given where things stand with three days until the March 15th 3pm EST trade deadline, unless something radically changes, Josh may end up where he is today.
Clippers Are Shopping: The LA Clippers have sniffed around guys like Portland’s Jamal Crawford, Boston’s Ray Allen and Washington’s Nick Young but the asking price for guys of that ability typically involves Eric Bledsoe and a future first round pick. For Clipper’s GM Neil Olshey that’s just a little too much for what amounts to a 25 game rental.
“We’re willing to do anything we can to move needle this year,” Olshey said to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles. “But unless it’s piece for the future that also gives us the ability to win a championship this year, we’re not going to give up our long-term flexibility and assets to do that.”
Like many teams the Clippers are active in seeing what’s possible, but a splash deal involving the Clips might be a reach, but they could grab a player if the price is right.
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