There's a whole lot of NBA trade chatter as we get closer to Thursday's deadline.
I think we might be expecting too much.
While the biggest story all season has been the saga that Howard has created in Orlando, there are a lot of reasons why Howard could remain in an Orlando Magic uniform after the deadline. The main reason, of course, being money.
The Magic can pay Howard more than anyone else can. While there are teams that would be willing to trade for Howard without getting a long-term commitment from him, teams with pieces the Magic want in return are going to want that commitment.
Howard has made this difficult by limiting his list of preferred teams to just the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Lakers or Dallas Mavericks, according to Ken Berger. There's a lot to be weighed by the Magic. I still can't get over the fact that he doesn't want to go to the Chicago Bulls.
Pau Gasol has had a rocky start to the season with the Lakers after being involved in a trade for Chris Paul only to have the NBA rescind the trade before it became official. From there, Gasol had to deal with knowing his team was going to let him go when he showed up for media day and it's been an interesting first half of the season.
While the Lakers are still exploring their options with Gasol, it sounds like they are looking for a lot in return. This morning a report (via Iamagm.com) said the Lakers and Boston Celtics were discussing a Rajon Rondo/Pau Gasol swap, but the Lakers declined. If Rondo's not enough to get it done, it'll be interesting to see if anyone can put together an offer that wows Los Angeles.
Monta Ellis has been involved in trade rumors for years. No exaggeration. Especially seeing Stephen Curry tweak that surgically-repaired ankle of his once again on Saturday, I just don't see Ellis on the move. He's like a cat with nine lives who seems destined to stay with the Golden State Warriors.
As for Rondo? If the Celtics are not getting Gasol, they need to keep Rondo and thank their lucky stars that they were able to sign him to that bargain of a $55 million extension.
Looking for another reason why the deadline might be slower than you'd expect? Set your eyes on the New York Knicks.
After throwing what felt like everything but the kitchen sink to Denver last season to acquire Carmelo Anthony, look where they are now. After two weeks of excitement courtesy of then-unknown point guard Jeremy Lin, the Knicks are back to being a team in disarray.
Since the trade for Anthony, the Knicks are 32-37. The Nuggets, after giving up their franchise player, are 40-26. While everyone wants a superstar (or two, or three), the Knicks—true to form—serve as a cautionary tale: Be careful what you wish (or trade) for.
It also seems like the years that end up with the most blockbuster deals going down are the years when no one is talking. This year there's been plenty of talking. Too much for my liking.
I'm predicting a slower deadline than the news cycles would have you think. Of course, by going on the record with that, I'm sure Thursday will now be a busy one.