NBA PM: Howard Opting-In For One More Year
Is Howard Opting In For 2012-2013?: After dropping a bomb shell on Orlando last night, saying the Magic needed to “roll the dice” with him, it seems Dwight Howard may be doing the unthinkable and opting-in for the final year of his contract.
WFTV’s Christian Bruey is reporting that during a morning meeting in San Antonio, Howard told the Magic that he would exercise his option for a final year on his contract, which would keep Howard in Orlando through July of 2013.
Several other outlets are now reporting this concept, however there is a physical process that still needs to be completed, which requires Howard to notify the Magic in writing that he is exercising the option year in his contract.
Howard has wavered all season on whether he would stay or go, and sources close to the process have said for the better part of the year that Howard was not absolutely gone from Orlando.
Sources close to the situation confirmed the WFTV report to HOOPSWORLD, saying Howard talked with the team this afternoon and told them his intention to stay.
League sources say the Magic have been aggressively trying to trigger a deal to upgrade the Magic roster for a Finals push and have been talking heavily with the Minnesota Timberwolves about a Michael Beasley deal that would send Jason Richardson to the Wolves.
Another variation of that deal would involve the Atlanta Hawks, who may receive Beasley and possibly Ryan Anderson in exchange for Josh Smith.
Hawks’ co-owner Bruce Levenson told reporters last night that he seriously doubted his club would do a deal involving Smith, but Magic sources say the team is active in trying to change their mind.
“The likelihood of us trading Josh at the trade deadline is as close to zero as you can get,” Bruce Levenson said Tuesday.
“There were a bunch of guys in the All-Star Game that I wouldn’t trade for Josh, given what he brings not only to our team but to the community. He’s from Atlanta. He’s made terrific contributions to the community. It’s really hard, particularly in the middle of the season, to find that caliber player for Josh.”
Smith has asked the Hawks to explore trading him, and it remains to be seen if a package of Michael Beasley and Ryan Anderson would change the Hawks’ mind.
Magic sources said Howard’s decision to opt-in gives them a much larger window to reshape the team.
The Magic have $66.74 million in salary commitments in July, which includes the partially guaranteed $6.19 million owed to JJ Redick and a $3.23 million Qualifying Offer to Ryan Anderson.
In July of 2013, The Magic have just $32.349 million, which includes the final year of Hedo Turkoglu’s contract worth $12 million which is guaranteed for just $6 million.
For the very latest on the NBA Trade Deadline, make sure to check out the Trade Deadline Diary – updated throughout the day with the very latest news, trades and scuttle from around the NBA.
Did New Jersey Just Get Screwed?: The New Jersey Nets may have just gotten screwed… twice.
The word is Dwight Howard called a team meeting in San Antonio and told his teammates that he was staying, and that they all had a role to play in winning a championship this year. He then told the Magic he’d opt-in for the final year of his deal. The Nets, who have been pursuing Howard, are losing out.
During All-Star weekend in Orlando a well-connected NBA source who is usually never wrong on such things, exclaimed without hesitation that Deron Williams was going to the Dallas Mavericks in July, and that is was “done”.
At the time, the idea seemed so far-fetched; we talked about it, but really didn’t give the idea much credit.
On All-Star Sunday, a source close to Dwight Howard was asked about Deron and Dwight being in New Jersey at the trade deadline, and that source at the time said not to call it done, that Deron had “screwed” Dwight.
Today, those comments make so much more sense.
Has Deron Williams checked out in New Jersey? He was supposed to be the guy that brought it all together for Brooklyn, and now it looks like Williams may be bolting from the Nets too.
The NBA trade deadline is in less than 24 hours, and with Dwight Howard clearly off the market… what will the Nets do now?
Woodson In, D’Antoni Out: In what’s likely the least surprising news of the day, Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni resigned as the head coach of the Knicks.
Joining D’Antoni out the door are assistant coaches Dan D’Antoni and Phil Weber. To say it was time for change in New York is likely an understatement and this move was a long time in the making.
Sources in and around the Knicks have speculated for weeks that Knicks players were “kind of doing their own thing” and that’s ultimately what prompted the Knicks and D’Antoni to part ways.
Former Hawks’ head coach and Knicks’ assistant Mike Woodson is taking over for the balance of the season, but sources say he has been given no assurances about the future of the job.
Immediately the speculation on who will coach the Knicks next season started with Kentucky coach John Calipari being mentioned along with former Laker coach Phil Jackson.
Calipari took to Twitter saying he had the best job in the world, however it will be interesting to see what Coach Cal’s stance will be when the Knicks open their checkbook.
Phil Jackson is said to be the top name on the list, it will be interesting to see if the coach who is known for stringing together championships will come back to the team he played for and end the 40 year drought since the team won a NBA title in 1973.
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