Trades have been few and far between in this lockout-shortened NBA season. Rumors, however, have not. Dwight Howard rumors abound, and if it weren't for Jeremy Lin, we would be hearing about Howard's situation much more.
When (or if) Linsanity dies down, Howard will once again be the topic of choice for the NBA leading up to the trade deadline on March 15. Shaquille O'Neal claims it would be a "travesty" if Howard were to leave Orlando, considering how much he means to the city and the franchise.
The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the more active teams on the market, hoping to score Howard and another point guard. They have the potential to make some monumental trades, but none have occurred quite yet.
Steve Nash is the next best name that has been enveloped in trade rumors. He would be a great fit for teams like Lakers and the Magic, who are looking to keep their superstars happy.
Here are the most recent trade rumors for the NBA:
New Jersey Nets fans will claim that they are the front-runners for the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. Whether it is because of Deron Williams, a big market in Brooklyn, or all of the above, it does seem like Howard could play for the Nets.
Brook Lopez crushed New Jersey's hopes of landing Howard early in the season with the stress fracture he suffered on Dec. 21. He was to be the centerpiece for a deal uniting Howard with Williams.
It will be interesting to see how well Lopez plays in his return, which could potentially be before the All-Star break which begins Feb. 24th.
New Jersey could put together a very interesting offer for Orlando if and when Lopez is back to full strength.
The race for Dwight Howard is far from decided. Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks mark two destinations on Howard's wish list.
Of course, Orlando can give Howard the most money and a guaranteed tag as "Face of the Franchise." If Howard were to go to the Lakers or Dallas, he would play alongside the past two NBA Finals Most Valuable Players (Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki, respectively).
Sleeper picks in the competition for Dwight Howard include Eastern Conference powers Boston and Chicago. However, neither team has been willing to put the proper pieces on the table to land Howard.
Lakers fans are very grateful for what Derek Fisher has done for the franchise, epitomized by his 0.4 shot in the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals against San Antonio.
It is obvious now that it is time for the Lakers to move on.
The Los Angeles Lakers need a young point guard and they have been actively searching for one to fill Fisher's shoes. The Lakers have expressed interest in Ramon Sessions of Cleveland, free-agent Gilbert Arenas and Jonny Flynn of Houston.
Arenas hasn't quite shown he is his 2004-2007 self, and he isn't what the Lakers need. The Lakers need a "pure point" to feed their superstars.
An interesting proposition would be Pau Gasol for Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola of the Houston Rockets. Adrian Wojnarowski says the Rockets are still interested in Gasol, and an addition of Lowry would give the Lakers a much improved point guard.
Unfortunately, the Rockets aren't up for the idea of trading away their premier point guard. This situation will be important to watch as it develops.
Adding Jonny Flynn to the deal instead of Lowry would be much more appealing for the Rockets, though the Lakers would most likely want a third player for that deal to go through.
Steve Nash has been exact opposite of Dwight Howard in regards to trade rumors. Nash does not have a "wish list" like Howard, and he could very well end his career in Phoenix.
Ken Berger of CBSSports states that Nash "has yet to express interest in being traded, league sources said." As much as Nash means to the Phoenix franchise, it may be time to part ways with the 38-year-old star.
If Nash were to ask for a trade, the "Suns would play ball," which begs the question:
What team would be interested in Nash?
He's 38 years old and entering the last year of his current contract. Reuniting with Mike D'Antoni and Amar'e Stoudemire would be sentimental indeed, but with Jeremy Lin's rise to stardom, it appears that Nash will not be in a Knicks uniform anytime soon.
Phoenix would most likely deal Nash if the price was right, but it is unlikely that a team would deal significant assets for a player that will hit free agency at the end of the year.
An interesting reunion to ponder would be Nash and Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas. Mark Cuban may not make a move for another aging superstar, but there's no question Nash brings more to the table than Jason Kidd.
Orlando is another intriguing option for Nash, but would he be enough to keep Howard in a Magic uniform?
The league-run New Orleans Hornets have gone from actively shopping Chris Kaman to removing him from the trade block in a matter of days. ESPN's Marc Stein states that "Houston and Indiana... expressed the strongest interest in the former All-Star."
In the same article, Stein states that the Hornets are "seeking at least one good future draft pick or young player for Kaman," which is proving difficult. Teams headed for the lottery in the NBA draft are in need of Kaman, but are unlikely to give up their pick. Contending teams that could use Kaman, like Houston, Indiana and even Atlanta, have yet to pique the interest of New Orleans management.
Atlanta is a team that should be more aggressive in trading for Kaman. Their front line lost productivity and depth with Al Horford's injury, and Kaman would bring much needed size and skill to the Hawks' frontcourt. They have the pieces to deal (Marvin Williams, Kirk Hinrich), they just need to pull the trigger.