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Orlando Magic Offseason Tracker: Latest Trade Rumors, Free-Agency News

Grant RindnerContributor IIIJune 25, 2012

Orlando Magic Offseason Tracker: Latest Trade Rumors, Free-Agency News

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    No NBA team dealt with more controversy last season than the Orlando Magic. Between the constant media attention surrounding Dwight Howard and his refusal to either commit to the team or request a trade, as well as a slew of internal strife and untimely injuries, there was no ball club that faced more obstacles both on and off the court than Orlando.

    With their season coming to an end at the hands of the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs, the team must look to regroup and steady themselves heading into the 2012-2013 season. There is plenty of uncertainty surrounding Howard's future in Orlando, but with the search for a new coach still underway, a new GM recently being named and the team looking to make substantial improvements, there is much to discuss about the Magic's offseason.

    Without further ado, let's a take a look at the most recent rumors and news surrounding the Orlando Magic.

Dwight Howard Trade to Lakers Complete

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    Update: Friday, August 10 -- Maxwell Ogden

    Showtime has returned to Los Angeles, ladies and gentlemen, as Dwight Howard has officially become a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. As for how the deal got done, the word impact doesn't really do this trade justice.

    Four teams were involved in this deal, with the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers joining the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic to get the swap done. Amongst the players traded were All-Stars Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bynum.

    According to Ken Berger of CBS.com, this is how it all went down.

    -- Orlando sends Howard, Earl Clark and Chris Duhon to the Lakers and Jason Richardson to the 76ers.

    -- L.A. sends Andrew Bynum to Philly, and Christian Eyenga, Josh McRoberts, a conditional 2017 first-round pick and a conditional 2015 second-round pick to Orlando.

    -- Denver sends Al Harrington and Arron Afflalo to Orlando with a 2013 second-round pick and a 2014 first-round pick from the Nuggets or Knicks.

    -- Philadelphia sends Andre Iguodala to Denver and Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless and a conditional first-round pick to Orlando. The Philly pick is lottery-protected in 2013 and '14, top-11 protected in '15 and top-8 protected in '16. If the Magic don't get the pick by '16, they get two second-round picks from the Sixers.

    While the winners and losers of this trade are of a subjective matter, there's no denying how big every move was. Los Angeles receives Dwight Howard, Philadelphia gets Andrew Bynum, Denver acquires Andre Iguodala and Orlando receives positional upgrades, a slew of draft picks and significant cap space.

    Upwards of $20 million should the expected buyout of Al Harrington goes through.

    -- Report via B/R's NBA Trade Rumors tracker

     

    BREAKING NEWS: Thursday, August 9 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Dwight Howard is finally a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and the rest of the NBA is no longer hostage to his story. The blockbuster four-team trade involving the Lakers, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic will go through.

    Merely rumors as of early Thursday afternoon, the trade was allegedly agreed to in principal during the wee hours of the evening, with a league-office finalization call being planned for Friday morning.

    Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN and ESPNLA, respectively, broke the stories Thursday night, providing new details from the earlier speculations that included Pau Gasol.

    Gasol appears to actually be safe now, with only Bynum and a first round draft pick leaving L.A. in return for Dwight Howard. Andre Iguodala will indeed leave Philadelphia for Denver, who will ship Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington and at least one first rounder to Orlando.

    The Magic will also reportedly receive Nikola Vucevic, at least one first round pick and (potentially) Moe Harkless from the Sixers. 

    Philly is potentially the real winner, landing not only Andrew Bynum, but also Jason Richardson in the process for nothing more than Iggy and some spare assets.

    Neither Bynum nor Howard are likely to sign in-season extensions, and Marc Stein especially reinforced this for D12.

    ESPN source says Dwight definitely NOT doing extension with Lakers. Will test drive Lakerland for season and go to free agency in July 2013

    — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 10, 2012

    If L.A. does not work out for Dwight, says source briefed on his thinking, he knows "Dallas will be there for him." Mavs will have cap space

    — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 10, 2012

    Yet, both will have massive financial and personal incentive to re-sign with their new teams next offseason. Howard will finally be playing on the big stage for a championship contender, while Bynum will have a franchise all to himself, playing within an hour of his New Jersey home.

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's L.A. Lakers Offseason tracker.

    - End of Update - 


    The Orlando Magic are finally on the verge of sending disgruntled star Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-team trade.

    According to ESPN, these are the details of the trade:

    A source with direct knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com's Marc Stein the Lakers will receive Howard, the Denver Nuggets will acquire Andre Iguodala, the 76ers will receive Andrew Bynumand Jason Richardson, and the Magic will get Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic and one protected future first-round pick from each of the other three teams.

    In addition, the Magic will be getting other pieces, including 76ers No. 1 draft pick Moe Harkless, a source told Stein.

    This obviously wasn't the best that general manager Rob Hennigan could have done, but at least it puts an end to this prolonged situation.

    The Magic will get Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vukevic, Moe Harkless and one protected first-round pick from each team involved in the trade.

    That seems like a good haul, but the Magic aren't acquiring any talent that will help them win basketball games. Stockpiling future assets is certainly a good idea, but there is no telling how long it will be until the Magic are competitive in the Eastern Conference.

Dwight Howard to Lakers Still Has Legs?

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    Update: Thursday, August 9 -- Joel C. Cordes

    It's been awhile since we've had a good Dwight Howard rumor to freak out about, but this one is certainly both new and a doozy.

    Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic have found some fresh victims (err... facilitators) for their continued Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum trade machinations:

    Orlando and the L.A. Lakers are engaged in 4-way talks with Denver and Philadelphia on a Dwight Howard blockbuster, league sources tell Y!

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 9, 2012

    Including the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers actually makes a ton of sense. Just check out the rosters for the Nuggets and the Sixers; each has plenty of names that could be attractive to a rebuilding Orlando franchise.

    However, a deal of this magnitude brings up more questions than answers. Could Bynum be going to Denver or Philly instead of Orlando? What do those other two teams get out of such a deal? Which young stars could be included in these discussions? 

    We've heard plenty of head-scratching rumors ever since this saga began, but this one comes from a reputable source and is fresh enough to create some pause. At least we all now have something to think about for the day...

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Offseason Trade Rumors tracker.

     

    Update: Thursday, July 19 -- Maxwell Ogden

    Well, so much for that.

    Just when it appeared as if Dwight Howard would be open to signing an extension, his agent crushes those dreams with two simple sentences. Ric Bucher of ESPN.com has the story.

    Agent: Wherever Dwight Howard lands, he'll be an UFA next summer. Doesn't mean he won't re-sign, just no promises. espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id…

    — Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) July 20, 2012

    Things aren't looking good for a potential Dwight Howard to Los Angeles deal. While the Lakers may believe in their brand, no one can be foolish enough to believe in trading a franchise player away for another who may not re-sign.

    Can they?

    -- Report via B/R's Dwight Howard Tracker

     

    Update: Thursday, July 19 -- Maxwell Ogden

    Could the Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum trade talks all be a hoax? If you ask Andrew Bynum's agent, the answer might be yes.

    Per a report via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times, Andrew Bynum's agent David Lee has not been contacted about a potential trade.

    Andrew Bynum's agent says no teams have contacted him about trades @bbolchhas more detailslat.ms/NXfEm9

    — Mark Medina (@MarkGMedina) July 20, 2012

    While this certainly does not suggest a nail in the coffin, one has to question whether or not the talks are legitimate or media driven. At this point, it appears to be the latter.

    -- Report via B/R's Los Angeles Lakers Tracker

     

    Update: Thursday, July 19 -- Maxwell Ogden

    The Cleveland Cavaliers have taken yet another precautionary measure in their potential inclusion in the Dwight Howard trade talks. This time around, they're demanding what could only be expected of them: a guaranteed extension of Andrew Bynum's contract.

    This comes per a report via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

    "Cleveland will only do the deal if Bynum extends," a league official directly involved in the talks told Yahoo! Sports.

    This should come as no surprise, as Cleveland would be foolish to include themselves in any mega deal without a guarantee of their reaping the benefits. Despite what we already assumed, it has now been reported that the deal will hinge on Bynum's extension.

    -- Report via B/R's Cleveland Cavaliers Tracker

     

    Update: Thursday, July 19 -- Maxwell Ogden

    Per a report via Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, it appears as if an Andrew Bynum to Cleveland deal has not been run by Bynum's agent David Lee. Here's what Lee had to say.

    "When I read it online I was in Alaska with Andrew and his family ... I was taken aback by the list considering there is nobody in anybody’s camp he could’ve been talking to. I have no idea where that came about."

    This could complicate the Cleveland Cavaliers' role in the Dwight Howard to Los Angeles trade talks. The Cavaliers may not want to give up anything substantial without Andrew Bynum agreeing to re-sign with the team after the 2013 season.

    -- Report via B/R's Trade Tracker

     

    Update: Thursday, July 19 — Ethan Norof

    Finally, some movement on the Dwight Howard trade front.

    Jarrod Rudolph of Real GM was first to break the news that Howard is now willing to sign a long-term extension with the Los Angeles Lakers if he is traded to the team.

     

    Sources: Dwight Howard is ready to join Lakers. If traded to Los Angeles Howard will re-sign long-term with team after 2012-13 season.

    — Jarrod N Rudolph (@JRudolphSports) July 19, 2012

     

     

    ESPN's Chris Broussard has confirmed the news as well.

     

    Sources confirm @JRudolphSports report that Dwight Howard is ready to join Lakers. If traded to LA DH will re-sign long-term with team

    — Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 19, 2012

     

     

    It appears as if the Lakers are in the driver's seat in the race to land Howard.

    -Content for this update was provided by B/R's Dwight Howard Trade Rumors Tracker.

     

    Update 3: Wednesday, July 18 -- Maxwell Ogden

    For those Cleveland Cavaliers fans worrying that one of their young pieces would be on the move, fear not. According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, the Cavaliers will not let go of any member of their young core.

    The Cavaliers to this point have not seemed inclined to include any of their young players in any potential deals. That includes Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller and reigning Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving.

    This could complicate the Dwight Howard to Los Angeles trade talks if either the Lakers or Magicwere hoping to acquire one of the said players from the Cavaliers. In all likelihood, however, it was made clear from day one that they were not an option.

    -- Report via B/R's Trade Tracker

     

    Update 2: Wednesday, July 18 -- Joel Cordes

    Formerly repudiated as nothing more than a pipe dream, ESPN's Ric Bucher is reporting that the Cleveland Cavaliers have been mentioned yet again as a facilitator for the Dwight Howard trade.

    In the proposed scenario, Howard obviously goes to the Los Angeles Lakers, Andrew Bynum WOULD still be ending up with the Cavaliers and Anderson Varejao and plenty of draft picks head to Orlando.

    Bucher has stressed that these are merely framework talks at this point and nothing is imminent. Still, this is strong confirmation that last week's "Bynum to Cavs" rumors weren't actually the hot air they appeared to be.

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's NBA Offseason Trade Rumors tracker.

     

    Update: Wednesday, July 18 — Ethan Norof

    The Howard to Lakers rumors just won't die.

    After a Yahoo! Sports report that stated Los Angeles was "pushing hard" to land Howard, ESPN Los Angeles confirmed that the two sides were talking, though no deal is imminent.

    The Lakers remain committed to pursuing Howard even without assurances he'd sign a long-term extension with the club. What's unclear to both sides is whether Orlando would accept Andrew Bynum without assurances he'd sign a long-term extension.

    If the team can't execute a trade for Howard, the Lakers are expected to turn attention to signing Bynum to a long-term extension.

    -Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's L.A. Lakers Offseason Tracker.

     

    Update: Tuesday, July 17 — Joel C. Cordes

    The Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic remain in serious talks about swapping Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum.

    Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports the only hurdle left is getting that pesky contract-extension assurance from Dwight Howard:

    Lakers pushing hard to land Magic center Dwight Howard & meeting with Magic today, sources tell Y! LAL wants DH contract extension commitment

    — Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 17, 2012

    At this point, it would be simply ridiculous if Howard doesn't see the Lakers as his best destination. With the Brooklyn Nets out of the picture for good (they can't sign and trade for him next year due to changing rules in 2013), Howard is left with the Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks as potential destinations.

    He'd have to play one more season for the Magic in order to sign with the Mavericks, and Orlando has yet to latch onto any real pitches from the Rockets or Hawks. Expect this to gain steam throughout the day.

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Dwight Howard offseason tracker.

     

    Update: Saturday, July 14 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Though it's somewhat speculative, Click Orlando's David Pingalore cites sources who firmly believe the Los Angeles Lakers remain the front-runners for Dwight Howard.

    Now that the Brooklyn Nets are out of the picture, the Lakers seem to best match Howard's big-market machinations much more than the dogged determination of the Houston Rockets.

    Houston has been willing to sell the farm for Howard, but he'd then be arriving to an empty plot of ground accompanied only by the misfit parts he wanted to leave in Orlando.

    On the other hand, the Lakers can simply swap Andrew Bynum (and possibly Metta World Peace) for Howard. This would give Dwight the chance to play for a clear championship contender on the league's biggest stage.

    It's not surprising that stories like this about the Lakers would continue to surface. What's shocking is that Howard hasn't publicly warmed to this seemingly inevitable idea yet.

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Dwight Howard offseason tracker.

    - End of Update -

    UPDATE (7/7/12 at 12:16 pm)

    Per a tweet via Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, it appears as if the Los Angeles Lakers are no longer concerned with long-term security when it comes to a Dwight Howard trade. This opens the door for the Andrew Bynum/Dwight Howard swap to go down, after all.

    “Lakers no longer demanding contract assurances from Dwight Howard in trade talks, reportedly dlvr.it/1pr8ff” bad news for Nets

    — Stefan Bondy (@NYDNInterNets) July 6, 2012

    This trade appears much more likely than the proposed deal with the Nets, which supposedly has a "30 percent chance" of occurring. D-12 to the Lakers and Bynum to the Magic is a legitimate possibility.

    --End of Update--

     

    Could Dwight Howard still end up a Los Angeles Laker after all? Gery Woelfel of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel apparently believes so:

    Howard to the Lakers, with Bynum going to the Magic, still being discussed.

    — Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) June 28, 2012

    While this rumor seemed dead and gone, the Orlando Magic ARE actively shopping Dwight Howard. This was the best deal they were able to get in the past, so it makes sense that they would be interested if it's back on the table.

    Yet, is this back to a straight Andrew Bynum for Howard swap, or is Pau Gasol involved too?

    - This report provided by Bleacher Report Los Angeles Lakers Offseason Tracker.

Dwight Howard Rumors Come Full Circle

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    Update: Tuesday, July 31 -- Maxwell Ogden

    The Orlando Magic have seemingly been in talks with every NBA team possible for a potential trade of Dwight Howard. The latest chapter in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, however, has the Magic in talks with the 2011 NBA Champions.

    Mike Fisher of Fox Sports Southwest has the report.

    Mavs GM Donnie Nelson and Magic GM Orlando GM Rob Hennigan visited last week about a Dwight Howard trade and "will probably talk again,'' Nelson tells FOXSportsSouthwest.com. Meanwhile, Dwight and the Magic seem done visiting.

    This deal seems unlikely, as Dallas lacks the youth that Orlando is likely to ask for. They are, however, on pace to be a major player in the 2013 period of free agency and could steal D-12 away from Orlando.

    More details on this story as they emerge.

    -- Report via B/R's Dwight Howard tracker

     

    Update: Sunday, July 28 -- Maxwell Ogden

    Are we ever going to get a clear answer?

    Just when it appeared as if Dwight Howard could remain a member of the Orlando Magic, Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio has put out a conflicting report. Per his league sources, Howard could be moved sooner than we may have believed.

    With Dwight Howard reiterating his wish to be traded, multiple league sources predict  the Orlando Magic will again step up efforts to find their All-Star center a new team. Several of those sources told FOX Sports Ohio on Saturday they believe Howard could be traded by the end of next week.

    While any report regarding Dwight Howard's future deserves to be inspected for validity, it's hard to rule this out as a possibility. Orlando is beyond a long shot to retain D-12 after the 2013 season and must get all they can in return before it's too late.

    More details will be reported as they emerge.

    -- Report via B/R's Dwight Howard tracker

     

    Update: Tuesday, July 24 -- Joel C. Cordes

    So this is what it feels like to start over at square one?

    Following up on some recent speculative reports, HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy has some concrete news on the Orlando Magic's plans.

    According to Kennedy, the Magic have shifted their strategy back to where this all began. Unable to find trade deals that they like, they've been focusing on hiring a head coach for nearly the past two weeks.

    Once they have that coach in place, (likely Jacque Vaughn), they will have an organizational sit-down with Howard to pitch him on staying in Orlando. Howard has agreed to such a meeting; a huge step back from his recent stand-offish demands.

    It would certainly be awkward for Dwight to suit up in a Magic uniform again after what he's put the franchise and the city through. However, it's also good to see both sides talking again, even if it feels like we've wasted nearly two months chasing every trade rumor under the sun.

    What a Dwightmare...

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Dwight Howard offseason tracker.

     

    Update: Monday, July 23 -- Maxwell Ogden

    The Orlando Magic have been involved in a back-and-forth battle with the decision to keep or trade Dwight Howard for roughly a year. While it seems as if all signs have pointed to a potential trade, it appears as if the franchise will hold onto their embattled superstar.

    Chris Broussard of ESPN.com has the report.

    An executive who has had discussions with the Magic regarding Howard said Orlando only will trade the star center in a deal that is great for the franchise. The executive said this has been Orlando's stance for the past "week or so."

    Another executive who has talked with Orlando said he thinks the Magic may start the season with Howard and wait until the February trade deadline to move him.

    This decision has been building up to for quite some time, with the Magic refusing deals from a handful of potential suitors. The question at this point, of course, is whether the team will indeed trade Howard come February or hold onto him and try their luck in free agency.

    More on this story as details are released.

    -- Report via B/R's Dwight Howard Tracker

     

    Update: Saturday, July 21 -- Maxwell Ogden

    B/R's earlier report answered why Dwight Howard hadn't been traded. This upcoming news will answer when the plug could be pulled on the D-12 trade talks.

    Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated has the report.

    The Magic, I'm told, are hopeful that they can pull the trigger on a deal by early August (although I certainly couldn't tell you which one it might be). That being said, new GM Rob Hennigan...is proving to be very prudent in this process, meaning those hopes won't be realized if the deal simply isn't up to his standard's.

    This is a fair approach by Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan. The team simply cannot pull the trigger when there remains an outside chance of Howard returning to Orlando, regardless of what he may have said before.

    Either way, the D-12 trade talks could conclude by early August. Expect a frantic few weeks heading up to that time.

    -- Report via B/R's Dwight Howard Tracker

Magic Fail in Attempt to Retain D-12

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    Update: Saturday, July 28 -- Maxwell Ogden

    Despite coming up short in his attempt to earn Dwight Howard's commitment to the franchise, Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan appears to believe the relationship can be repaired. If not, he at least believes that Howard could be in Orlando once training camp rolls around.

    Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel has the story.

    "As I've said all along, we're going to just continue to stay true to our process and let the process sort of dictate the opportunities and the scenarios that present themselves," Hennigan told the Orlando Sentinel in a telephone interview Saturday.

    More details will be reported on the potential for Dwight Howard to remain in Orlando as they emerge.

    -- End of Update --


    Dwight Howard is a thorn in the Orlando Magic's side.

    On one hand, Howard is the one man holding their franchise back from building for the future. On the other end, D-12 could lift the Magic to a second NBA Finals appearance in a half-decade.

    No matter how you cut it, the future of this franchise goes as Dwight Howard pleases.

    In an attempt to repair their relationship with the superstar center, the Orlando Magic brass met with Howard in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the talks did not go as the Magic had hoped.

    Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has the news. 

    Source w/ direct knowledge of Howard-Orlando meeting: "Dwight remained unchanged in his desire to be traded and has no intention of (Cont)"

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 26, 2012

     

    Source continued..."Signing another contract or extension in Orlando." Magic GM Rob Hennigan told Howard he's trying to trade him but ...

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 26, 2012

     

    ...but finding no acceptable deal. Magic waiting so long after draft and start of free agency to get serious on Howard deals has hurt offers

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 26, 2012

    Expect trade talks to become even hotter than they previously were. Months of further turmoil could be on the way.

Jacque Vaughn Named Head Coach of Orlando Magic

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    Update: Saturday, July 28 -- Maxwell Ogden

    The Orlando Magic's search for a new head coach has come to a close. Former San Antonio Spurs assistant coach and 12-year NBA veteran Jacque Vaughn has been handed the keys to the ignition.

    This report comes via Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel.

    Vaughn is coming out of a unique situation in which he served as an assistant coach to the great Gregg Popovich in San Antonio. Although he had the same duties as his fellow coaches, he never actually played the role of sideline supporter.

    Here is Robbins with the story.

    In San Antonio, Vaughn had the same duties as the team’s top three assistant coaches: Mike Budenholzer, Don Newman and Brett Brown. All four scouted future opponents, helped run practices and had other responsibilities. Still, league rules allow only three assistant coaches on the bench during games, and Budenholzer, Newman and Brown — all longer-tenured — occupied those seats. Meanwhile, Vaughn sat directly behind the bench.

    This could concern some but should not be over-glorified. What should be noted, however, is that Vaughn is familiar with the Orlando organization. He spent the 2003 NBA season as the team's reserve point guard.


    Update: Monday, July 23 — Ethan Norof

    Jacque Vaughn is very much under consideration for the Magic head coach job, and all indications are that he's firmly in the driver's seat among all final candidates. Here is the latest update from Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.

    San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Jacque Vaughn, widely presumed to be front-runner for the job, met with Magic CEO Alex Martins on Friday in Las Vegas for a second-round interview.

    Vaughn, 37, has been considered within NBA circles as the Magic's leading candidate for almost a week now — ever since Golden State Warriors lead assistant coach Michael Malone was told he was no longer being considered and Indiana Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw either withdrew from consideration or was told he was no longer being considered.

    We shouldn't have to wait much longer for a resolution.

    -End of update-

    According to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, the Orlando Magic are down to three finalists for their vacant coaching position. Each of the three candidates are former NBA players.

    The 3 finalists for the #Orlando #Magic coaching job indeed are Michael Curry, Lindsey Hunter & Jacque Vaughn.

    — Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) July 16, 2012

    Michael Curry spent one year as the head coach of the Detroit Pistons, making the postseason in 2008-09. Lindsey Hunter, meanwhile, spent 17 years in the league and won two NBA Championships as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2002 and the Detroit Pistons in 2004.

    The final candidate, Jacque Vaughn, spent 12 years in the NBA and won a title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2007. He retired in 2009 and appears to have built a strong enough reputation to find himself in the hunt for a head coaching position just four seasons later.

Jameer Nelson Returns

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    Update: Wednesday, July 25 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Details of Jameer Nelson's contract became known this week, and it's quite a rich one for a guy who's been trade bait so often during his previous deal.

    Nelson is typically considered starting-caliber for less than a third of the league's teams, yet he'll be paid as if he's in the top half of point guards.

    Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld has the details:

    Jameer Nelson got paid. He'll make $8.6 mil in 12-13, $8.6 mil in 13-14, $8 mil in 14-15. Last year is only partially guaranteed, but still.

    — Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 25, 2012

    He's been a good soldier for the Magic and is a solid locker-room guy, but paying for this stability is odd when the team is in rebuilding mode and otherwise looking to shed salary.

     

    Update: Tuesday, July 17 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Nelson has officially inked his three-year deal with the Magic, though its terms are still unknown, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

    Jameer Nelson has signed his new 3-year contract with the #Orlando #Magic.

    — Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) July 17, 2012

    Nelson has been on the decline for a few seasons, but has been one of the franchise's most loyal players and a respected leader. As the rest of the roster is in flux, the Magic are interested in keeping their point guard position stable.

    - End of Update -

     

    Per a report via ESPN.com, Jameer Nelson has agreed to remain a member of the Orlando Magic. According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.com, however, that deal has not been signed.

    Jameer Nelson and the Orlando Magic agreed to terms on a three-year deal, but Nelson still hasn't officially signed yet.

    — Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 16, 2012

    While it's unlikely that Jameer Nelson backs out of his verbal agreement, it's interesting to note that this comes on the heels of a Houston Rockets reconstruct deal for D-12" href="http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/8162534/houston-rockets-reconstruct-trade-proposal-orlando-magic-center-dwight-howard">new development in the Dwight Howard trade talks. With the Houston Rockets willing to take on other contracts, it's possible that Nelson simply does not want to leave Orlando.

    Or, he just hasn't found the time in his offseason schedule to sit down and sign the contract.

Trading Ryan Anderson

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    BREAKING NEWS: Sunday, July 8 -- Joel C. Cordes

    As part of his sign-and-trade from the Orlando Magic to the New Orleans Hornets, Ryan Anderson will be able to sign a deal similar to the one Ersan Ilyasova just got to remain with the Milwaukee Bucks:

    Ryan Anderson gets four years, $34-36M from New Orleans, per source.

    — David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 8, 2012

    This does not seem like a completely unreasonable number for the NBA's Most Improved Player of the Year, so it's extremely surprising that the Magic were willing to let Anderson walk at all.

    Their trade for Ayon is being spun as an "at least we got something in return" sort of move, but one wonders why they didn't just keep Anderson in the first place. This cannot be seen as a team-advancing move by Dwight Howard, and surely does little to keep him in Orlando.

     

    UPDATE: Sunday, July 8 -- Joel C. Cordes

    According to numerous reports, the Orlando Magic are working out a trade for their sweet-shooting Restricted Free Agent, Ryan Anderson:

    Orlando RFA Ryan Anderson likely won't re-sign with Magic and will be moved in a sign-and-trade, league sources tell Y! Sports.

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 8, 2012

     

    The trade partner will be the New Orleans Hornets:

    RT @JoshuaBRobbins: #Magic are in talks w/ #Hornets on sign-and-trade involving Ryan Anderson, @orlandosentinel has learned.

    — Michael Cunningham (@ajchawks) July 8, 2012

     

    Whether this includes draft picks or not is unclear, but Hornets center Gustavo Ayon is the only player mentioned so far from the New Orleans side:

    League source says #Hornets acquiring SF Ryan Anderson from #Magic in sign and trade for Gustavo Ayon.

    — Jimmy Smith (@JimmySmithtp) July 8, 2012

     

    It seems odd that the Magic would be trading away the Most Improved Player of the Year for a backup center, prompting much speculation that Ayon could be seen as Dwight Howard's replacement and the beginning of a number of moves.

    For now, that speculation is being downplayed:

    Sign-and-trade talks between the Hornets and Magic for RFA Ryan Anderson are unrelated to a possible Dwight Howard trade, sources say.

    — Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 8, 2012

    Stay tuned as more information becomes available.

J.J. Redick Will Be Back in the Fold

9 of 27

    There was some uncertainty regarding J.J. Redick's future with the Orlando Magic going into the offseason, but he'll be back with the team.

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Magic plan to exercise the $6 million option on Redick's deal to bring him back next season.

    It's not immediately clear as to how Redick will fit into the Orlando re-tooling process, but Redick is a very skilled outside shooter who has really improved since he first came into the league.

Magic Hire New General Manager

10 of 27

    After firing general manager Otis Smith following their postseason defeat, Orlando has found his replacement in Rob Hennigan, who was previously an assistant general manager with the Oklahoma City Thunder. According to NBA.com, Hennigan's duties with Oklahoma City involved overseeing scouting and managing basketball operations.

    Previously, Hennigan spent four years as a part of the San Antonio Spurs organization. He became their director of basketball operations in the fall of 2007 after being a basketball operations assistant and was a part of the front office when the team won championships in 2005 and 2007.

    The Orlando Sentinel's Josh Robbins and Brian Schmitz report that Hennigan has gotten to work immediately and has begun a bit of an overhaul, firing assistant GM Dave Twardzik as well as six of the team's scouts.

Opt-out Clause Extension for Jameer Nelson

11 of 27

    UPDATE (7/7/12 at 12:41 pm) by Maxwell Ogden

    Many believed Jameer Nelson would be leaving Orlando when he opted out of his deal with the Magic. It has now come to light that Jameer Nelson will be staying with the franchise, as he's turned around and signed a new deal.

    --End of Update--

     

    Josh Robbins from the Orlando Sentinel reports that the opt-out clause in Jameer Nelson's contract has been extended for two weeks and that the former All-Star point guard has until June 29th to make his decision. The option is for $7.9 million, and the move was supported by both sides so that new Magic GM Rob Hennigan could be a central part of the discussions.

    Dealing with criticism and plenty of turbulence, Nelson had a decent but unspectacular regular season, averaging 11.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game while hitting 37.7 percent of his three-point attempts. With Howard missing the playoffs, Nelson took a much larger offensive role in the team's series with Indiana, averaging 15.6 points, 3.8 boards and 6.6 assists, but only hitting 39.2 percent of his shots from the field.

    At 30 years old, Nelson could be seeking one final big-money, multi-year contract; However, the new luxury tax penalties and salary cap construction could prevent him from receiving significant offers, not to mention his uninspiring regular-season effort.

Ryan Anderson a Restricted Free Agent

12 of 27

    The Orlando Magic have extended a qualifying offer to forward Ryan Anderson, according to new general manager Rob Hennigan and via NBA.com.

    Anderson was the NBA's "Most Improved Player" after posting career highs in nearly every category during his fourth professional season. 

    Though the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Anderson should be a part of the Magic's plan going forward, regardless of what happens with Dwight Howard. 

    A prototypical "stretch four" who also rebounds effectively, Anderson is the perfect pairing alongside range-limited Howard. However, Ryan could also be a key building block should Dwight depart. His youth and versatility imply that there is still room to grow.

    Barring an enormous outside offer, it appears that Ryan Anderson will be a member of the Orlando Magic for awhile.

Magic Frustrating D-12 Suitors

13 of 27

    Update: Saturday, July 21 -- Maxwell Ogden

    There's a question that each and every NBA fan and analyst has been asking since the beginning of free agency: Why hasn't Dwight Howard been traded yet?

    According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, there is an answer. In what should not be considered an attempt to assassinate Rob Hennigan's character, it appears as if the Magic's GM is a major reason nothing has gotten done.

    According to sources, the Magic have frustrated potential trading partners by continuously changing terms at the last minute. This supposedly dates back to their dealings with the Nets a few weeks back, when Nets GM Billy King felt an agreement that would send Howard to Brooklyn had been finalized, sources said.

    While we are all inclined to believe that the Magic will one day agree to a trade, the fact that the Magic are the franchise holding things up should be concerning. More details will be reported as they emerge.

    -- Report via B/R's Dwight Howard Tracker

Magic Interested in Marco Belinelli

14 of 27

    It's been a while since we've had news about a player potentially joining the Magic who wasn't involved in a potential Dwight Howard trade scenario.

    According to Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld, Belinelli is drawing interest from a number of teams, including Orlando:

    Now that the Clippers have gone with Grant Hill, Marco is looking at other teams.  The Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic, Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks have interest.

    It's going to be tough to facilitate anything until the Howard situation is resolved, but Belinelli would give the Magic more depth on the wing in case veterans Jason Richardson and/or Hedo Turkoglu are traded in a Howard package.

Houston Rockets STILL Chasing Dwight

15 of 27

    Update: Friday, July 13 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey continues to play every card in his hand. When that hasn't been enough to get Dwight Howard, he's just gone out and gotten more cards.

    ESPN.com is reporting that the Rockets have once again approached the Orlando Magic with a trade offer. Having traded away Kyle Lowry, amnestied Luis Scola and (hopefully) watched Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin's offers matched by the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks, respectively, the Rockets now have a ton of rookies and cap space.

    While that might seem like the perfect stage for a full Rocket rebuild, Morey is offering all of those facets in exchange for Howard.

    This proposed trade would send most of Houston's rookies and cap space to Orlando for Dwight and at least two or three of the bad contracts from Glen Davis, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Chris Duhon.

    Even though Howard could still leave in 2013, the Rockets are at the point of no return either way. They've begun a full restructuring project, and they'd rather have Dwight aboard than to start from scratch.

    However, does Dwight want a team built around him again or to play for an already-established roster?

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Offseason Trade Rumors tracker.

Magic, Lakers, Rockets: Latest 3-Team Proposal

16 of 27

    UPDATE (7/10/12 at 8:58 p.m. EDT) by Maxwell Ogden

    Per a report via Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, the L.A. Lakers appear ready to take on another hefty contract in order to acquire Dwight Howard. Who this aging player is may cause Orlando Magic fans to breathe a serious sigh of relief.

    Key development in Lakers' pursuit of Dwight Howard: They're more open to taking back contract of G-F Jason Richardson (3 yrs, $18.6 mill).

    — Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) July 11, 2012

    Without Jason Richardson under contract, the Magic receive some serious cap room to work with; something that general manager Rob Hennigan would love to have.

    --End of Update--

     

    According to Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld.com, the Los Angeles Lakers have re-emerged as potential suitors in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. What may come as the greatest surprise in this deal, however, is what the Magic would receive in return.

    HOOPSWORLD has learned that there have been preliminary discussions between the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets that would involve sending Andrew Bynum to the Rockets, Howard to the Lakers and a number of first-round picks, prospects and significant cap relief to the Magic.

    While this may not seem like a great trade for Orlando, it is. The chances of re-signing Bynum are just as up in the air as they would be to re-sign D-12, and the best move possible for Orlando is to build for the long-haul.

    With the potential rid themselves of significant contracts and acquire multiple draft picks, the Magic would put themselves in position for long-term success.

Nets Ready to Walk Away from Dwight Howard Deal?

17 of 27

    Update 2: Wednesday, July 11 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Multiple sources are reporting that the Brooklyn Nets have sent a final ultimatum to the Orlando Magic. To paraphrase, "either trade Dwight Howard to us today, or we're walking."

    Source: Nets will "resolve" their pursuit of DH today; either get him or move on.

    — Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) July 11, 2012

     

    ESPN is reporting that Nets GM Billy King is meeting with Brook Lopez, their restricted free agent center, today. They'll either sign him to stay or be dealt to Orlando, but he's getting a contract either way.

    Following up on @RicBucher report: Nets have told Magic if there's a Dwight Howard deal, must be done by end of business day

    — Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) July 11, 2012

     

    The Nets do not want Lopez to receive any outside offers, as that would finally foil their Howard plan: If they let Lopez walk, they don't have the assets to acquire Dwight. If they match a max deal for Lopez, then the parameters and timing of the contract may not be palatable to Orlando.

    Why hadn't an outside team thought of and implemented this sabotage yet? Presumably because they didn't want to actually get stuck with Lopez on a max deal.

    Either way, the Dwight Howard and Brooklyn Nets situation is (finally) moving to a head. If this falls through, then the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks will remain in the conversation.

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Offseason Trade Rumors tracker.

     

    Update: Wednesday, July 11 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Either they're backing the Orlando Magic into a corner, or they're simply ready to walk away. Either way, the Nets are closing in on a max contract with restricted free agent Brook Lopez:

    Y! Sources: As time's running out on a Howard deal for Brooklyn, Brook Lopez nears agreement on max contract with Nets. tinyurl.com/86tgnwf

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 11, 2012

     

    The Nets have maintained that the 11th was their date for moving on, as they don't want to let other free-agent opportunities pass them by while waiting for the Orlando Magic.

    More importantly, unless this Lopez contract is an immediate precursor to a sign-and-trade, it will take Brooklyn out of the Dwight Howard running for good:

    If Brook Lopez signs the reported maximum contract offer with the Brooklyn Nets he can NOT be traded until December for Dwight Howard. #NBA

    — Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 11, 2012

     

    Even if Dwight were to wait until free agency next summer, he would have difficulty signing with the capped-out Nets. They would have to move Brook Lopez and or other contracts in order to bring him aboard.

    Time is running out. It appears the Magic have 24 hours or less to deal with Brooklyn or let the opportunity pass them by.

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Brook Lopez offseason tracker.

Outside Teams Affecting Dwight Howard Trade

18 of 27

    Update 2: Tuesday, July 10 -- Joel C. Cordes

    ESPN is reporting that the Orlando Magic are once again shopping Dwight Howard to outside bidders. This is surprising, considering how certain a trade with the Brooklyn Nets seemed likely even as late as Monday night.

    This could be their last-ditch attempt to maintain leverage before they're forced to accept the Nets complicated, three or four-team offer (detailed on the next slide). Or, as ESPN's Ric Bucher reported above, it may also be the result of potential facilitators like the Charlotte Bobcats dragging their heals.

    The Cleveland Cavaliers were supposed to be a part of the deal, but not it appears they are out:

    Cleveland is out as a third-team trade partner in a possible Orlando-Brooklyn deal for Dwight Howard, sources tell Y! Sports.

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 10, 2012

     

    With so many moving parts to this trade, plus the fact that nearly every Nets piece would need to sign in order to be dealt, complexity is gumming the gears. 

     

    Update: Tuesday, July 10 -- Joel C. Cordes

    While the Brooklyn Nets appear to finally have the Orlando Magic's ear, Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey continues to push doggedly ahead:

    The Rockets refuse to give up on the Dwight Howard derby, gathering more assets to try and entice the Orlando Magic to engage in talks

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 10, 2012

    Call it a Quixotic pipe dream, but the Rockets have been nothing but obsessed this offseason, stopping at nothing short of a full franchise tear-down in their pursuit of Howard. Whether that's enough to catch Dwight or the Magic's attention remains to be seen at this 11th hour.

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Dwight Howard offseason tracker.

Cleveland Cavaliers Make Dwight Howard Trade Appear Imminent

19 of 27

    Update 4: Monday, July 9 -- Maxwell Ogden

    Just when things began to shape up, it appears as if the confusion around the Dwight Howard trade saga has continued to grow. As David Aldridge of NBA.com reports, the inclusion of a third team has found new complications.

    The Nets are exploring offers from other teams that want to get involved in the Howard talks besides the Cleveland Cavaliers — the third team that is reportedly the conduit to take on players and Draft picks to enable Brooklyn to get Howard while sending players and picks to the Magic.

    Nevertheless, the deal remains close to transpiring. Aldridge reports that both teams share increasing interest and the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as a potential fourth team.

     

    UPDATE 3: Monday, July 9 -- Maxwell Ogden

    The framework for a Dwight Howard deal has been revealed and Brooklyn Nets fans can breathe a giant sigh of relief.

     

    In current structure of deal, Orlando gets Brook Lopez, Damion James, Shelden Williams, Luke Walton and 3 or 4 1st rounders, sources tell Y!

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2012

     

    The notable name missing from this list is MarShon Brooks, who was said to be a key piece of the puzzle. Just don't breathe too quickly, as Wojnarowski reports that Brooks could be shipped out to a fourth team brought into the trade talks.

    More details as this trade gets closer to transpiring.

     

    UPDATE 2: Monday, July 9 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Dwight Howard trade parameters have expanded to include yet another team:

    Tentacles of Nets-Magic talks covering 14 players, 3 teams w/ possible 4th locking in to take MarShon Brooks to provide pick, sources tell Y

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2012

    As if the Howard saga didn't already feel like a whirlpool, it appears that it's swirling around more and more players and franchises as we speak. This has the makings of an all-time NBA blockbuster deal; stay tuned here for latest updates.

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Dwight Howard offseason tracker.

     

    UPDATE: Monday, July 9 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Numerous sources are reporting that the Dwight Howard to Brooklyn Nets deal has found new legs thanks to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Sources: Magic, Nets and Cavaliers near completion of Dwight Howard trade. Deal will include 11 players, cash and multiple draft picks.

    — Jarrod N Rudolph (@JRudolphSports) July 9, 2012

    The Orlando Magic brass are apparently meeting at 9:00 am Monday to discuss their options. While this deal had long appeared to be floundering, the Cleveland Cavaliers' sudden interest in acquiring Nets free-agent power forward Kris Humphries appears to be the new variable.

    As reported by ESPN, the Cavaliers could also be receiving MarShon Brooks as part of the package, something the Orlando Magic had appeared disinterested in up to this point.

    It is unknown yet which Cleveland players and/or picks would be heading to the Magic, but they would certainly have to contribute a reasonably large cache to the Brooklyn bevy of draft picks and Brook Lopez that are headed Orlando's way.

    This story could be resolved by the end of the day, so stay tuned here for the latest updates.

Dwight Howard to Brooklyn Nets Trade Still Alive?

20 of 27

    Update: Sunday, July 8 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Ken Berger of CBS is reporting that the Brooklyn Nets still haven't given up on their pursuit of Dwight Howard:

    Nets "making progress" on finding a third team to take Kris Humphries in a scenario that would send Dwight Howard to Brooklyn, source says.

    — Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 8, 2012

    Despite the fact that they've begun talks to re-sign Brook Lopez, the Nets remain determined to exhaust all options to acquire Howard. Retaining Lopez might just be the first step in this long-fabled mega trade to the Orlando Magic.

    The Magic just made a curious move by selling off Ryan Anderson to the New Orleans Hornets. While the Magic brass claim this is not precursor to a Dwight Howard deal (detailed on next slide), this certainly isn't a move towards championship contention.

    Orlando is clearly up to something right now, and it appears the Brooklyn Nets are too. It's pretty obvious what the connection is between these moving parts.

Atlanta Balks at Josh Smith Trade Offer from Orlando Magic

21 of 27

    ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that the Hawks have received inquiries from the Orlando Magic about acquiring Josh Smith.

    While Smith's name has been resurfacing in recent trade chatter, the prospect of him going to rival Orlando is relatively new. It remains to be seen just what kind of package the Magic could really offer for Smith, though it would certainly have to start with restricted free-agent Ryan Anderson.

    For now, Josh Smith appears to be part of the Hawks organization until after draft day and/or until a better offer is on the table. 

    - Information provided by Bleacher Report's Josh Smith Offseason Tracker.

Dwight Howard Situation Becoming Toxic?

22 of 27

    According to HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy, the Orlando Magic and Dwight Howard relationship is becoming so toxic, that a trade now appears the only way for both sides to move forward.

    While no one seems surprised that this is finally happening, it's easy to wonder why Howard opted in for the final year of his contract if he really just wanted to move on. The constant media scrutiny and trade rumors haven't subsided at all, but Dwight and the Magic have to be used to it by now.

    Did he simply re-sign to save face? Was he helping the Magic out by giving them more time to shop him? Is he upset that he still hasn't been moved yet? 

    Howard has certainly made things difficult by narrowing down his trade destinations to only one or two franchises. While he doesn't have a "no trade" clause, teams need reassurances that he will re-sign. Dwight commands such a high asking price, that his expiring contract basically gives him all the leverage right now.

Houston Rockets Interested in Trading for Howard?

23 of 27

    The Houston Rockets have been searching for a franchise center since a series of injuries derailed Yao Ming's career and forced him into an early and tragic retirement. Now, according to Chad Ford and Marc Stein at ESPN.com, the Rockets are believed to be attempting to acquire a pair of top 10 picks in order to make a sizable offer to Orlando for Dwight Howard.

    The Rockets currently have the 14th and 16th overall picks, as well as a slew of young assets like Kyle Lowry and Chandler Parsons that would be attractive for a franchise trying to rebuild. However, the team is discussing potentially trading up with teams like Sacramento and Toronto.

    Initially believed to be enamored with UConn center Andre Drummond, it is now considered very possible that the team is looking to instead create a package to offer the Magic.

    The team is apparently willing to "rent" the franchise center, as Howard will be an unrestricted free agent after opting into the final year of his contract. For the Magic, the chance to acquire a pair of lottery picks in addition to their own first rounder, as well as some young talent and even an expiring contract like Samuel Dalembert's, would be a difficult offer to turn down.

Earl Clark to Opt Out of Contract?

24 of 27

    According to orlandopinstripedpost.com, which spoke to his agent, Happy Walters, Magic power forward Earl Clark is likely going to decline his player option and enter free agency.

    Clark played just 12.4 minutes per game in the regular season, averaging 2.7 points and 2.8 rebounds, but with increased playing time during the postseason thanks to Howard's absence, those numbers improved to four points and 6.6 boards, as well as one block per game.

    Clark's player option is worth $1.24 million, but with the dearth of quality big men in the league and many teams needing to add size and athleticism, it makes sense that he would consider testing the free-agent waters and see if he can net a more lucrative, longer deal. Clark has until June 29th to decide whether or not he will opt in.

    Clark showed that he could play well with more time on the court, and I believe the team would be wise to retain his services as long as the price isn't too steep.

Orlando Interested in Rudy Gay?

25 of 27

    It has been rumored since their first-round playoff loss to the Los Angeles Clippers that Memphis has been considering moving Rudy Gay. Now, Alex Kennedy at Hoopsworld.com reports that Orlando is among the teams that could be looking to acquire the talented small forward. Gay is owed a sizable amount of money, $53.7 million over the next three seasons, but that has not stopped several teams, including the Magic, from expressing interest in him.

    Last season, Gay averaged 19 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists for the Grizzlies while keeping the team in contention despite losing Zach Randolph for nearly the entire regular season due to a knee injury.

    Still, having considerable money tied up in Gay and Randolph, as well as Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, it makes sense that the team is exploring options to deal one of their stars and preserve cap room for the future with punitive luxury tax penalties looming.

    Orlando does not have much in the way of attractive assets, but if they could put together an attractive package, Gay could be that second scorer behind Howard and potentially be enough to lock him up long term.

Brian Shaw "Interested," but Coaching Search Still Open

26 of 27

    Despite having secured themselves a general manager in Rob Hennigan, Orlando is still searching for a coach to fill the hole left by Stan Van Gundy. While they are considering several options, Yahoo Sports' Marc Spears reports that Brian Shaw, former assistant to Phil Jackson with the Lakers and Frank Vogel with the Pacers, is particularly intrigued by the Magic's coaching vacancy.

    According to Evan Dunlap, Shaw, who played for three seasons in Orlando, is fond of the city and preferred the Magic job to the Charlotte Bobcats', who recently hired Mike Dunlap.

    The Magic are waiting until after the draft to make any coaching decision, but the team would be wise to consider Shaw, who has dealt with superstar players, helped the Lakers reach championship heights and is extremely well respected throughout the league.

    Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel states that the team is also considering Steve Clifford, Mike Malone and Chuck Person, assistants with the Magic, Warriors and Lakers, respectively. 

Magic Stay Mum on Howard Trade

27 of 27

    According to HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler, the Orlando Magic remain coy about their plans for Dwight Howard.

    By continuing to say that they have "other suitors," the Magic hope to retain leverage and Howard's undoubtedly astronomical asking price. However, the longer they hold onto their supposedly disgruntled big man, the less they'll be able to ask in return. 

    The Magic also are saying they "know nothing about" any real trade offers, whether it be from the Houston Rockets or otherwise. Doing so helps them save face on all fronts. For now.

    Trade partners know that Orlando doesn't want to lose Howard without compensation, but they also don't want a long wait, either. In the Rockets' case, they need to get Dwight in uniform ASAP to see if the rental can become a full purchase.

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