NBA Rumors: Playing Fact or Fiction with the Latest Buzz from Around the League

Matt Shetler@@buccos12Correspondent IJanuary 23, 2012

NBA Rumors: Playing Fact or Fiction with the Latest Buzz from Around the League

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    A quarter of the way through the NBA season, several teams need to make moves to position themselves to make a solid run at the postseason.

    That also means there are several big names being talked about around the league.

    Yet most rumors involving superstar players don't have a lot of legs behind them and won't get off the ground.

    Here's sorting through the latest buzz in the NBA as we play fact or fiction with your latest NBA rumors.

Amar'e Stoudemire for Dwight Howard

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    Stephen A. Smith is at it again, as he reported the New York Knicks and Orlando Magic have had discussions about a potential trade that would send Dwight Howard to New York in exchange for Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler.

    While the Magic likely won't get an offer of two quality big men from one of the teams currently on Howard's list, this won't even get off the ground.

    Sure, the Knicks need something to turn things around and have made a world of questionable moves in the past, but they would be giving up a ton to rent Howard for a couple of months.

    Without an assurance of Howard signing a deal in New York, this has no chance of getting off the ground.

    Verdict: Fiction

Dwight Howard Will Get Traded to One of His Preferred Teams

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    While I do believe that the Magic can't simply let Howard walk away, they also can't be undermined by the free-agent-to-be and deal him away without receiving proper value in return.

    Magic general manager Otis Smith has given Howard's agent permission to speak with the three teams on his list: the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey Nets.

    The problem is that the more Howard comes out and talks about things, the more the relationship between Smith and Howard becomes strained.

    The problem here is that neither team really has enough to offer to get a deal done, and the Magic have a horrible salary cap situation that will prevent them from improving the team around him.

    Unless Howard adds some teams to his list or some team steps up and makes a splash close to the deadline, it doesn't make much sense for the Magic to give him away. A sign-and-trade in the offseason practically could bring them the same weak return.

    While many expect Howard to finish the season in a different uniform, as of the end of January, I just don't see it happening at the moment.

    Verdict: Fiction

The Nets Will Trade Deron Williams

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    Deron Williams has been much more quiet about his future than Howard, and even though they have been linked together for months, it's no guarantee that happens.

    ESPN did report over the weekend that Williams would prefer to stay in New Jersey, but listed the New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers as his preferred destinations.

    The Lakers are one team that desperately need him, but it's not going to happen.

    The only way New Jersey deals their star point guard is if Howard is traded to another team. Being I don't think that will happen, Williams is staying put.

    The Nets are holding a pair of pocket aces with Williams, and they are all in with him. It's more likely that they hold onto Williams and try and sign Howard as a free agent if they are unable to land him in a deal.

    Of course, that strategy could backfire big time, but they will hold onto Williams in the meantime.

    Verdict: Fiction

The Celtics Will Break Up Their Big 3

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    It's no secret that the Boston Celtics are struggling, and breaking up Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce could be the quickest way to keep this team competitive in the future.

    Garnett and Allen are off the Celtics books after this season, so they don't have to move them, but if some contender offers something reasonable, Danny Ainge should jump at the offer.

    Pierce is the intriguing option, as he's still somewhat in his prime and Ainge could purge $34 million more off the books for the next two seasons.

    Ainge has confirmed the fact that he's willing to explore trade options involving all three players, going as far as saying he would wait 10 more games before exploring those options.

    Even if the Celtics pick things up, they aren't realistically championship contenders. The Celtics will be blown up before long.

    Verdict: Fact

O.j. Mayo Will Not Be Traded

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    This is a more difficult situation, since the Memphis Grizzlies have attempted numerous times to trade Mayo.

    But the latest report coming out of Memphis suggests the Grizzlies aren't shopping the restricted free-agent-to-be any longer.

    That makes sense since the Grizzlies have picked things up as a team and Mayo seems to finally found a role he flourishes in, coming off the Grizzlies bench.

    He has value in Memphis and will remain there for at least this season.

    Verdict: Fact

Charlotte Will Trade Boris Diaw

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    The Bobcats are unhappy with Diaw and placed the out-of-shape center on the trade block.

    Both his lack of production and lack of passion have been questioned this season, but he has an expiring contract, and eventually, someone will take another shot on him.

    Verdict: Fact

Utah Will Trade Devin Harris

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    ESPN's Marc Stein was the first to report that Utah was shopping point guard Devin Harris.

    Harris isn't a bad guard, and they would certainly need some backcourt help in return, but with the Jazz not a championship contender, dealing Harris wouldn't be too big of an issue this season.

    Verdict: Fact

The Lakers Will Acquire a Point Guard

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    They have to.

    Los Angeles gets next to nothing from their point guard combo, and with Steve Blake currently injured, the Lakers need to upgrade.

    They've been linked to Deron Williams among others, and while a major move could be unlikely, any upgrade would be a positive one at this point.

    That brings us to a guy like Harris or even an Andre Miller, who isn't happy in Denver.

    While Denver dealing Miller to a potential conference rival may not be likely, the Lakers will eventually have to make a move to get a quality point guard.

    Verdict: Fact

Boston Will Acquire Kevin Love

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    Danny Ainge has made it known he's following the Kevin Love contract situation very closely, and if the Timberwolves don't give him a max deal by Wednesday's deadline, he could jump in and make a play for the budding superstar.

    Ainge would have no problem giving Love a max deal, but he won't get the opportunity.

    For one, the Timberwolves have been extremely stupid for not giving Love the fifth year weeks ago, but their front office can't be altogether that dumb.

    They have to give Love the extension, and it will get done by Wednesday's deadline.

    He's not going anywhere.

    Verdict: Fiction

Lakers Will Trade for Paul Pierce

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    The Lakers are one team reportedly trying to land Pierce, but how will they do it?

    For one, the Lakers don't have many young trade pieces other than Andrew Bynum, and they aren't dealing a young Bynum for two aging years of Pierce.

    The Celtics would insist on Bynum being part of any deal, and he's one of the only guys whose salary matches up enough to complete a trade.

    To deal Pierce, the Celtics would have to get young and more talented in a hurry. Bynum is the only currently Laker who could interest them.

    It just wouldn't make sense from the Lakers' perspective.

    Verdict: Fiction

Andrew Bynum Will Finally Be Traded by the Lakers

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    Bynum's name has been in every possible Lakers trade rumor over the past couple years, and he's heard them all.

    The Lakers, though, are beginning to realize that they may have the next big thing in Bynum, and it's going to be very difficult to pry him away from Lakerland.

    It's possible he gets dealt in a Howard swap, but don't count on it. Bynum will be a Laker for a long time to come.

    Verdict: Fiction

Steve Nash Will Be Traded

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    The only thing missing from the resume of Steve Nash is a ring, and he's not getting it in Phoenix anytime soon.

    Nash would have to request a trade, though, and that might not happen even though the Orlando Magic have shown some interest.

    There's also the possibility that he signs with a contender next season, with the Knicks being one of the rumored destinations.

    While he could help some teams this year, he's likely to chase that ring by signing somewhere next season instead of forcing his way out of Phoenix this season.

    Verdict: Fiction