NBA@2: Cavaliers Killing Dwight Howard Trade?
It seemed a little strange, didn’t it?
As the Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets looked for a third team to help facilitate a trade for Dwight Howard, it seemed like one of the least likely teams to do the honors would be the Cleveland Cavaliers, whose owner, Dan Gilbert, has been among the most vocal opponents to the super-team model.
Why would Gilbert help another one form in Brooklyn?
According to a number of reports, the Cavaliers will not be helping the trade that would have sent Howard to Brooklyn to join a growing list of All-Stars as the Nets look to make their debut in a new city one to remember. The deal was contingent upon the Cavs taking on Kris Humphries, who would reportedly have been re-signed to a one-year deal worth nine million dollars. Instead, Humphries camp is reportedly asking for a four-year deal, and that’s something the Cavaliers are less willing to do.
Cleveland also doesn’t want to commit to Humphries the kind of deal he’s said to be seeking, meaning additional pieces would have to be added to the already-complicated three-team deal in order for it to work for Cleveland.
It seems that while there has been a lot of chatter this morning, a Dwight Howard trade is not quite as close as some believe. A number of league sources have chimed in, saying they believe the Nets will land Dwight before Wednesday’s moratorium on player movement ends, it doesn’t sound like the current iteration of the deal is the one that gets it done.
It would certainly be surprising to see Dan Gilbert’s team help another NBA super team take shape.
In the proposed deal, Howard, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark would be sent to Brooklyn, and the Magic would receive the Nets’ Brook Lopez, Damion James, Sheldon Williams, Cleveland’s Luke Walton and three future first-round picks, sources said. Cleveland would receive Orlando’s Quentin Richardson, Brooklyn’s Sundiata Gaines, Kris Humphries (on a one-year guaranteed deal), a first-round pick and $3 million from the Nets. Brooklyn also would send Brooks to a fourth team to get them an additional first-round pick to send to the Magic.
Meanwhile, the Nets continue to treat a Howard trade as something that would be nice, but not something that makes or breaks their long-term plan. If they simply re-sign and keep Brook Lopez they feel very good about their chances going forward.
Great Situation For Aaron Brooks
When Aaron Brooks left the Houston Rockets it was not under the best of circumstances. An injury had opened the door for Kyle Lowry to steal Brooks’ starting spot, and his displeasure over that fact helped the Rockets decide to trade him to the Phoenix Suns in a deal that landed Goran Dragic in Houston.
Brooks was still not quite healthy in Phoenix, and had not secured himself a spot with the Suns by the time last season ended. The NBA lockout saw Brooks land a guaranteed spot in China, and by the time his Chinese team’s season ended the Suns had moved on.
Now Brooks is a free agent, and the thinking is that he might actually land back in Houston, where he met with the Rockets over the weekend. Since Brooks left Houston things have changed significantly, with Lowry now preparing to be a Toronto Raptor and Dragic back in Phoenix. The Rockets need a starter, and with expectations at the lowest they have been for years, Brooks could have free rein to run and gun to his heart’s content as Houston’s starting point guard next season.
That might just be the perfect situation for Brooks, too, as he has never been much of a defender and prefers to be the scoring guard he was at Oregon than a more traditional setup man. Kevin McHale’s movement-based offense would give Brooks plenty of opportunities to score, and with a youth movement shaping up in the front court, setting up teammates may not be as much of an issue as it was when Yao Ming was in the post.
There has been no decision in Houston or from Brooks’ camp about his immediate future, but if Brooks returns to Houston he may find that this time around he has a much greater opportunity to shine that he did in his first run with the Rockets.
The Situation In Atlanta
Rashard Lewis is one of the bigger names left in free agency, thanks in large part to the New Orleans Hornets’ decision to pay him to walk away via buyout. Lewis is now in a position to look for the best situation for himself without regard for the short-term financial repercussions. The Miami HEAT are hoping to lure Lewis to South Beach, where former Lewis teammate Ray Allen is taking part in the recruitment effort, but adding Lewis to the defending championship squad appears to be anything but a foregone conclusion, though some media outlets are tweeting that the HEAT are confident he’ll join the team.
After meeting with the HEAT on Sunday, Lewis has now moved on to meeting with other teams, starting with the Atlanta Hawks, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Hawks are looking for complementary talent now that Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams are gone, and Lewis would seem to be the perfect fit at small forward. The team is also talking to Jannero Pargo and agent Mark Bartelstein about a possible return to Atlanta, where Pargo could fill the void left by Kirk Hinrich’s departure.
New Hawks GM Danny Ferry also met with free agent forward Anthony Randolph over the weekend.
One of the underlying end games for Ferry here is to convince Josh Smith that his new long-term vision for the team is something that Smith will want to be a part of. Smith, of course, has been vocal about his desire to be traded, though that was based partially on the Hawks’ failure to improve enough to make a serious championship run.
Ferry said his initial meeting with Josh Smith went well, but the onus is still on the Hawks to convince him not to walk away at the end of next season. That process is really just beginning.
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