NBA Trade Deadline-Watch Notebook
With three hours to go until the NBA trade deadline, the basketball world is being deep fried in a chaotic batter of rumors, sources and ultimatums. Reality and perception are swerving in and away from each other and until this rollercoaster ends, nothing is as it seems. Believe everything and nothing because the 3 p.m. EST trade deadline will make liars of all of us. It’s a touch dramatic, yes, but not more so than anything of the events of the last 24 hours.
So what do we know right now?
Well, we know this will not be a productive day for basketball fans. College basketball fans will be treated to 16 NCAA Tournament games including an upset special with top-seeded Syracuse—playing without ineligible center Fab Melo—facing a resilient UNC-Asheville team in the first round.
And, of course, pro basketball fans are hanging on Dwight Howard’s every whim and that seems like a good place to start.
The latest on Dwight Howard
Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard has a decision to make. He has an early termination option on his contract, which means it’s up to him if he stays in Florida next season or becomes a free agent over the summer.
In order to avoid another LeBron James—type situation, the Magic would obviously want to trade Howard before he has a chance to become a free agent. They don’t want to lose their best player and get nothing but cap space in return.
So, as you’re probably well aware, Howard has changed his mind a few times in the last couple of days. He’s reportedly gone from wanting to sign with the Nets over the summer to wanting to opt in for next season to not understanding what “opting in” means to wanting to stay for another season.
That’s right, the latest is that Howard has told Realgm.com’s Jarred Rudolph that he plans on staying with the Magic through next season.
“Man, listen, you know my heart, my soul and everything I have is in Orlando,” Howard told RealGM. “I just can’t leave it behind.”
So why has Howard changed his mind so much? Was it his advice from his family? His agent Dan Fegan—who didn’t negotiate this current deal and won’t get paid for his efforts until Howard inks a new contract—or was it something else?
“I have gotten some bad advice,” Howard said. “I apologize for this circus I have caused to the fans of our city. They didn’t deserve none of this. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. I will do whatever I can to make this right and do what I was put in Orlando to do.”
So there you have it. The Magic have their center for another year (although he has yet to sign away his right to become a free agent) and they can now start focusing on this year’s playoff picture.
Where are the Nets in all of this?
Despite everyone’s expectation that the New Jersey Nets would deal soon-to-be free agent Deron Williams, the team is still looking to add parts. League sources have told HOOPSWORLD that they don’t feel Williams’ future was necessarily tied to Howard. Instead, they’ve been told by Williams’ camp that the team needs to be competitive for him to stay and so they are checking out several deals leading up to the deadline.
Keep in mind, the Nets have many different trade assets. In addition to young players like rookie MarShon Brooks and soon-to-be restricted free agent Brook Lopez, the team has Mehmet Okur’s $10.9 million expiring contract, Kris Humphries’ $8 million expiring contract, their own lottery pick (likely to be in the top five picks of a very good draft), the Rockets’ top-14 protected pick and a slew of second-round picks down the line.
General manager Billy King isn’t going to take the Dwight Howard news lying down, so don’t be surprised if the Nets make some move before 3 p.m.
Lakers Still Want Beasley, maybe Sessions too
Michael Beasley is still in the crosshairs of the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Times reporter Mike Bresnahan is reporting.
Beasley is currently caught in a logjam of forwards in Minnesota (he’s averaging 11.8 PPG, but is clearly capable of more), so he is thought to be expendable. The Timberwolves are in desperate need of a shooting guard, which is why Portland’s Jamal Crawford—who will likely be a free agent this summer—is a candidate to be involved in the trade.
The Blazers would reportedly take Steve Blake (it’s that or lose Crawford for nothing this summer) and Bresnahan writes, “A draft pick and another lesser player might be involved as well.”
If Blake were to get traded, the Lakers could use their $9 million trade exception to acquire Cavaliers point guard Ramon Sessions for a draft pick, Bresnahan wrote.
Could the Celtics move Ray Allen?
The Celtics are staring to get more serious offers for shooting guard Ray Allen—who plays a position that is seriously in demand this trade deadline—Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski wrote on his Twitter account.
Wojnarowski wrote that if the Celtics could get a pick and a young player, they may make the trade. Remember, Allen’s $10 million deal expires after the season.
Leandro Barbosa to the Pacers
The Indiana Pacers have been looking for a shooting guard for seemingly forever. They’ve tried 6-10 Paul George in the backcourt (he’s good, but more of a small forward), Lance Stephenson and they’ve even tried to trade for O.J. Mayo on multiple occasions.
However, the Pacers may have finally gotten their man and it only cost them a second-round pick. Raptors shooting guard Leandro Barbosa is on his way to the Pacers, Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears wrote on his Twitter account, and while that does give coach Frank Vogel a perimeter scoring threat (the 29-year-old guard is scoring 12.2 PPG and hitting 36% of his 3-point attempts), it likely means Indiana isn’t dealing for New Orleans center Chris Kaman.
This is good news for Miami HEAT fans who wanted Kaman to get bought out, allowing him to sign in South Beach for the veteran’s minimum.
So what about Chris Kaman?
According to Wojnarowksi, the Hornets are “getting more realistic” on their asking price for center Chris Kaman. One official told Yahoo! that “they won’t get a first (round pick) for him.”
Kaman’s $12.7 million per year deal expires after the season.
Sam Young to the 76ers
The 76ers have acquired Grizzlies small forward Sam Young for a second-round pick, according to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News.
For once in this year’s trade-deadline week, this move was about basketball. As Cooney wrote, Evan Turner has moved into the starting lineup, which has left the bench without a big perimeter player (Jodie Meeks is just 6-4 and Lou Williams is about 6-1), so Young adds toughness, rebounding and some defense.
The 76ers philosophy is all about have depth and playing smart basketball. Young helps in both of those areas.
Remember to check out HOOPSWORLD’s NBA Trade Deadline Diary: Click here.