Orlando Magic Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz Ahead of NBA Trade Deadline

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2012

Orlando Magic Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz Ahead of NBA Trade Deadline

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    Dwight Howard is the man of the hour for the Orlando Magic (actually, I guess I should call him the man of the past eight months), as Dwight has been the source of 80 percent of the NBA's trade rumors ever since the lockout ended back in late November.

    In fact, my first paragraph could have just read, "Dwight Howard Dwight Howard Dwight Howard Dwight Howard, Dwight Howard Dwight Howard Dwight Howard. Dwight Howard Dwight Howard, Dwight Howard." and you guys would have gotten the point.

    I guess this is just my way of saying that there's going to be a lot about the biggest man in an Orlando Magic uniform in the following pages, but this is going to be one concise location that will round up all the trade rumors and update how they're looking as of right now.

    And, believe it or not, there are other players on the Magic who could be traded in the coming weeks, so if you're interested in those fellows, I'll give you a word or two or three (hundred) about them as well.

    As the trade deadline gallops our way, set to come and go next Thursday, Orlando looks to be the team most in focus in the days to come, so let's take a look at what they could be doing in the meantime.

UPDATE: Dwight Howard Waives Early Termination Option

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    UPDATE 3/15: Chris Broussard of ESPN is reporting that Dwight Howard has sent him a text saying he signed the waiver of his Early Termination Option with the Magic

    Great news for Magic fans. Dwight Howard will not be traded this season. This gives the Magic hope that they can find a few more big time players to help get Dwight the Championship he is looking for.

Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers

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    As recently as Friday afternoon, reports were rolling in that the Magic want a lot for Howard. In other words...duh.

    However, they're banking on a package similar to the one that Denver got for Carmelo Anthony last season, but that doesn't seem possible.

    The Nuggets had a legitimate bidding war going on for the offensively-gifted forward while Orlando is dealing with much less willingness to move players from teams at this point.

    However, it seems that Los Angeles is most capable of giving up a big package for Howard.

    One deal that has been talked about a bit would give Orlando a good deal in return, as LA would send Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol to Orlando for Howard, Hedo Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson to the Lakers. Whether the Lakers are willing to deal this much is up in the air.

    It seems, however, that the Lakers are more keen on dealing either Gasol or Bynum, and more likely the latter.

    The Lakers don't want to completely dismantle their frontcourt in order to get Howard, and with Gasol in his prime and Bynum still harboring injury concerns, it makes more sense to move Bynum than Gasol.

Dwight Howard to the New Jersey Nets

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    The end of February came and went, and with it came the news that Dwight Howard still preferred the Nets over any other team on his "wish list."

    Why does he favor the Nets? That I couldn't say. It seems to me that the big man would prefer to play in Los Angeles or Chicago, both teams that give him a better shot at a title, than the soon-to-be Brooklyn Ballaz (my wish for the team's new name).

    New Jersey's package was rumored to be built around Brook Lopez and a few first-round picks, but nothing new has really come to light since the end of November.

    It seems that New Jersey would be best poised to wait and see whether Howard will be available in the summer, which Howard seems to realize as a decent option as well.

Dwight Howard to the Chicago Bulls

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    The Chicago Bulls threw their hat back into the race near the end of January, but with the play of the frontcourt lately, I'm not so sure they'd be willing to part with Joakim Noah.

    The old rumor near the beginning of February was that some combination of Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Taj Gibson would get the wheels turning for Howard.

    Plus, Howard added Chicago to his "wish list" when he found out that they were interested, so there's at least some interest on each side of the fence.

    Friday evening, however, Derrick Rose pointed out while complaining about the speculation that he's "cool with the teammates I have."

    That's got to make you wonder how trading for Howard would fiddle with the team's chemistry they have built this year.

Dwight Howard to Golden State Warriors

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    For this to happen, you'd have to overlook the whole "we want a huge package in return" thing on the side of the Orlando Magic.

    The Golden State Warriors have expressed interest in Dwight Howard, but Howard hasn't exactly expressed interest in them, which means they would essentially be renting Dwight for the rest of the season, hoping he liked the team enough to stick around.

    As of right now, Golden State would prefer to send Monta Ellis off in a trade for Dwight Howard, but not much more is known about the rest. I can't see how this makes much sense for the Warriors.

Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets

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    Another team open to renting Dwight Howard in hopes that he'd stay (and who knows, maybe a deep playoff run this year) is the Houston Rockets.

    After the league balked on allowing the trade to go through that would have put Pau Gasol in Houston, they have been green with superstar envy, and Dwight Howard would be perfect to take that green away.

    Houston would likely end up having to part with multiple parts of their team, with Orlando choosing from Kyle Lowry, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger, Chandler Parsons and Goran Dragic.

Dwight Howard to the Atlanta Hawks

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    For reasons only known to Josh Smith's sometimes unpredictable brain, the explosive forward has requested to be traded from the Atlanta Hawks.

    This is big news in the world of fake trades, as everyone's favorite was a combination of Josh Smith and either Al Horford or Joe Johnson (yeah, right) as the main portion of a deal for Dwight Howard coming into this season.

    In what has to be his 397th update on the Dwight Howard situation over the past four months, Ken Berger of CBSsports.com points out that Atlanta is Dwight's hometown and that the Hawks have started to put themselves in place for a shot at Dwight.

Dwight Howard to the Oklahoma City Thunder

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    How's about a trade rumor that was dead even before it ever started? Okay, well, here goes.

    Apparently at some point in the past few days the Orlando Magic gave Oklahoma City a call and inquired about grabbing Serge Ibaka and James Harden in exchange for Dwight Howard.

    The Thunder, probably concerned about how this would fiddle with the team's chemistry and depth said no and the trade died. They talked about it, but that was it.

    This is the last one about Dwight getting traded, I swear!

Dwight Howard to the Orlando Magic

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    Is it possible that one of the most possible destinations for Dwight Howard that was formerly thought to be unlikely is the Orlando Magic (for the rest of the season at least)?

    Here's the scenario at this point, Dwight Howard is the Soviet Union and Orlando is the United States (or the other way around, I don't care, I'm not trying to start a revolution here). Both sides have nuclear bombs, both are willing to use them if necessary.

    For Orlando, their nuke is not trading Howard in hopes that he will re-sign with the team and earn $30 million more over the lifetime of a maximum deal than if he were to sign elsewhere.

    However, Howard can set off his own nuke and ditch the Magic and plan to make up the lost money in advertising revenue or any other set of extracurriculars. 

    The crazy thing is that right now this seems like a very likely scenario as many talking heads are giving play to the idea as the deadline approaches.

Michael Beasley to Orlando

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    If Orlando were to take the path of mutually assured destruction, they would likely look to improve their team for one last title run with Dwight Howard. One player they've been looking at bringing in to help out is Michael Beasley.

    Beasley would be an improvement over Glen Davis as the team's sixth man and even Hedo Turkoglu as the team's starting small forward if they looked to thrust him into that role.

    The only question is what would the team give up for Beasley, as the best piece that they have and would be willing to part with would be Jameer Nelson, which would leave them with Chris Duhon starting at point.

Steve Nash to Orlando

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    In an effort to both appease Dwight Howard and get a point guard who, you know, is actually playing well, reports have come down that the Magic will "aggressively pursue" Steve Nash as the deadline approaches, that is according to Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.

    Apparently, this isn't just out of the crazed mind of Otis Smith, but something Howard himself said he would like to see happen. This makes sense after all, as Jameer Nelson is playing like garbage and Steve Nash is Steve Nash.

    The question remains, however, as to what Orlando could give to Phoenix. Surely they would have to package Ryan Anderson, who has been their second-best player, along with a few picks or another player, but would that be worth the aging point guard?

Hedo Turkoglu to Anyone

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    While Hedo Turkoglu has been a semi-productive member of the Orlando Magic this season, the big Turk has taken a huge decrease in production over the past few years, and certainly since the team made the NBA Finals in 2009. 

    For that reason, nearly every deal involving Dwight Howard has had Turk glued to it so Orlando could get out from under the $11 million and $12 million he's owed in 2013 and 2014.

    However, Orlando has recently started to shop Turk on his own, which may speak to the reluctance of teams to take on his contract when trading for Howard.

    Word on the street (and from Marc Stein's 497th post about Dwight Howard in the past four months) is that Orlando would have to package two first-round picks to get a team to eat Turk's contract. That's quite a high price.

    If you are one of those twitterers, you can follow me @JDorsey33.