NBA Trade Rumors: Updates from Around the League

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2012

NBA Trade Rumors: Updates from Around the League

0 of 37

    NBA free agency and trade rumors are slowly hitting their boiling point. With the NBA draft in the books, teams are more aware of their status for next season and are more prepared to address their flaws.

    Notions concerning the future whereabouts of NBA stars seem to change everyday, and that won't change until deals are made.

    Let's take the current pulse of the NBA's hottest trade rumors.

Dwight Howard Traded to Los Angeles Lakers in Four-Team Deal

1 of 37

    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.


    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.

Latest News on D-12 Trade Talks

2 of 37

    Update 2: Thursday, August 9 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski follows up on his previous report that the L.A. Lakers, Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers are in discussions of a massive four-way trade involving Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum.

    The names and destinations are still fluid at this point, but the teams are seriously discussing permutations of Howard and Denver forward Al Harrington landing in L.A., Bynum going to the Sixers, Philly swingman Andre Iguodala heading to Denver, and Pau Gasol, plus Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo, winding up in Orlando.

    Any deal would surely have to include additional picks and assets heading to the Magic, but this is as significant a haul as they've been offered so far. Affalo has quietly turned into one of the league's half dozen best shooting guards, while Gasol's resume' speaks for itself.

    As Woj notes, Bynum and Gasol's destinations could be swapped, though both the compensation and cost for Orlando and Philly would likely change as well.

    Stay tuned...

     

    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...

     

    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

Hawks Send Willie Green to Clippers

3 of 37

    According to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta Hawks have parted ways with scoring guard Willie Green. In return, the Hawks receive the rights to Greek center Sofoklis Schortsanitis.

    A player who may not even join the Atlanta Hawks.

    Schortsanitis signed a three-year contract with Athens club Panathinaikos earlier this month so chances are he won’t be joining Atlanta’s roster. The value for the Hawks in the deal is gaining a trade exception in the amount of Green’s first-year salary with the Clippers, which wasn’t immediately known.

    This pads a solid offseason by the Hawks, as they've cleared plenty of cap space for a major offseason campaign in 2013. This also adds to a series of moves that have made the Atlanta Hawks a much younger team than they were a year ago.

    As for the Clippers, this is yet another move that bolsters their solid perimeter. Green's 7.6 points per game on an average of just 17.4 minutes would certainly be welcomed.

Andre Iguodala Will Not Be Traded

4 of 37

    It seems as if you'll have to wait for a trade involving Andre Iguodala.

    Many have speculated where Iguodala would end up, as trade rumors have grown synonymous with his name. For those who believed that he would be moved by offseason's end, that prayer will not be answered.

    John Finger of CSNPhilly.com has the story.

    According to a source, a trade involving Iguodala “won’t happen” during the off-season. As a result of that, the Sixers’ off-season tinkering to their roster is complete and aside from a few free agents who get invitations to training camp, the team is set.

    The roster is set and Iguodala is staying in town. Unless he's shipped out before the January trade deadline, that won't change until he has the option to become a free agent in 2013.

    -- Report via B/R's Philadelphia 76ers tracker

Three-Way Trade Between Hornets, Wolves and Suns

5 of 37

    Update: Friday, July 27 -- Joel C. Cordes

    By sweetening the pot a little more for the Phoenix Suns, the Minnesota Timberwolves got what they wanted all along: enough cap space to sign Andrei Kirilenko.

    The trade has been rumored long before today, but NBA.com reports that the Suns, Wolves and New Orleans Hornets have sealed the deal.

    The Suns now pick up Jerome Dyson and Brad Miller's expiring contract from the Hornets, instead of them going to the Wolves. Wesley Johnson and a future first round pick are also coming from Minnesota, as previously planned.

    The Hornets still wind up with Hakim Warrick, Robin Lopez and cash.

    Minnesota only receives a pair of second round picks as part of the trade, but this was nothing more than a salary dump. Still, having to give up a first round pick just to clear the books is not a business-savvy move.

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Minnesota Timberwolves offseason tracker.

     

    Update: Thursday, July 26 -- Maxwell Ogden

    The Charlotte Bobcats have been in hot pursuit of power forward Carl Landry for quite some time. As nearly a full month passes since their 2012 pursuit began, the chase is heating up.

    According to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, the Bobcats remain interested in landing the stretch 4. As for how they could potentially bag Landry, a four-team trade is on the table.

    #Bobcats still exploring ways to get Carl Landry. Some chance they could end up as a 4th team in that NO-Phoenix-Minnesota trade talk.

    — Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) July 26, 2012

    The signing would instantly improve a weak Charlotte Bobcats frontcourt. They currently have no big men who can score the ball on a consistent basis and the presence of Landry would change that. It would also offer youngster Bismack Biyombo a mentor..

    More details will be reported as they emerge.

    -- Report via B/R's Free Agent tracker

     

    Update: Thursday, July 26 -- Maxwell Ogden

    As previously reported, the Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Hornets and Phoenix Suns are currently involved in trade talks. The deal is built around center Robin Lopez and swingman Wesley Johnson, with other young players, veterans and draft choices thrown into the pack.

    Per a report via Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic, however, that deal is not as imminent as we once suspected. Here's Coro with the report as to what's holding the deal up.

    The largest remaining issue is making the trade oblige with rules to get league approval. If the league rejects the trade parameters, Warrick would remain with the Suns and Lopez likely would remain with the Suns for his $4 million qualifying offer. In that case, Lopez would become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

    While the deal appears likely to occur, it's clear that there is a serious hurdle to leap. More on this story as it develops.

     

    Update: Thursday, July 26 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Though the deal has not yet been officially filed, details were leaked by source close to the trade, reports ESPN.com.

    Here's what we know so far:

    The Minnesota Timberwolves will receive from the New Orleans Hornets center Brad Miller's expiring contract, (which Minny coincidentally JUST traded to New Orleans already this offseason), and prospect guard Jerome Dyson.

    The Hornets get center Robin Lopez and power forward Hakim Warrick from the Phoenix Suns. 

    The Suns acquire swingman Wesley Johnson and a future first-round pick from the Wolves.

    The Hornets and Suns both address areas of need, with New Orleans especially requiring some additional front-line depth. The Suns clear a front-court logjam, though it's unclear what role Johnson will play on a team that already has Shannon Brown, Michael Beasley and Jared Dudley at the wings.

    However, the Wolves executed this trade simply to clear enough cap space for signing Andrei Kirilenko.

    Parting with Wesley Johnson and a first round pick may seem like an awful lot simply to sign a free agent, but Johnson has been a bust so far, and the Wolves are desperate to build an immediate, veteran winner around Kevin Love.

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Minnesota Timberwolves offseason tracker.

    - End of Update - 


    The 2012 period of free agency has been as eventful as any in recent memory. From big time trades to big money deals, the landscape of the NBA has changed forever.

    Per a report via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, those changes are set to continue.

    The Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Hornets are on the brink of a three-way trade that could shake up each team's roster. At the heart of the deal is 24-year-old seven footer Robin Lopez.

    Hornets, Suns, Wolves are nearing agreement on a 3-way deal that would send Robin Lopez to the Hornets in a sign-and-trade, sources tell Y!

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 24, 2012

    At first, the Twittersphere questioned why this deal was occurring. It was not revealed what the other teams involved would receive and no franchise appeared to gain much.

    Wojnarowski, however, has an update that changes those perceptions. Here's the update of what could push each franchise along.

    Along with Lopez, Suns would send Hakim Warrick to Hornets. Minny would send Wesley Johnson and a 1st round pick to the Suns, sources say.

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 24, 2012

    Even still what the Minnesota Timberwolves receive is undisclosed. More will be reported as the details emerge.

    -- Report via B/R's Minnesota Timberwolves Tracker

Lakers Still Looking for "Impact Trade"

6 of 37

    Update: Thursday, July 26 -- Maxwell Ogden

    The Los Angeles Lakers are not going to sit around and wait for Dwight Howard. They're also not going to close the door on a potential deal, however, and that's most important to note.

    Chris Broussard and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com have the news.

    While Orlando regroups to assess its options with Howard, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said as far as he's concerned, the door remains open for the team to make an impact trade.

    "Typically it slows down in August, but the brakes are never on," Kupchak said coyly.

    It's not hard to imagine what that impact trade might be. After nearly a month of trade talks with the Orlando Magic, the Lakers are likely to remain open to any possible move. On the heels of D-12 telling management that he would not re-sign, that trade does become a lot more likely.

    The question is, will the Lakers extend Andrew Bynum before they can acquire Dwight Howard?

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

Cavaliers, Grizzlies Swap Players

7 of 37

    The Cleveland Cavaliers have had an excellent offseason. They remain at odds, however, with the issue of depth in their rotation.

    One of the positions in which the Cavaliers lack depth is at the point. While reigning Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving is certain to hold down the position, he's proven to be injury-prone early in his career. To solidify the position, Cleveland has completed a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies.

    Griz send Jeremy Pargo, 2014 2nd round pick and cash to Cleveland for swingman D.J. Kennedy

    — Commercial Appeal (@CAGrizBlog) July 26, 2012

    In 2012, Jeremy Pargo averaged 2.9 points and 1.3 assists in 9.6 minutes per game. He should offer the Cavaliers similar numbers in virtually the same average of minutes per game.

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

T-Wolves, Grizzlies Swap

8 of 37

    The Minnesota Timberwolves' starting lineups consists of one of the best frontcourts in the NBA, pairing superstar Kevin Love with the rapidly improving Nikola Pekovic. Unfortunately, that's about all they have as the depth on their roster is shaky at best.

    To solidify the 4-spot, the T-Wolves have gone out and completed a trade that lands them one of the best energy guys in the game. In return, they've traded an expendable perimeter player who has been lost in the Timberwolves' recently acquired depth.

    Cunningham-for-Ellington trade is official, per source

    — Commercial Appeal (@CAGrizBlog) July 24, 2012

    Dante Cunningham was the catalyst to the Memphis Grizzlies' attack with his activity on the offensive glass. He's also an explosive leaper who constantly makes his name known on defense.

    Wayne Ellington, meanwhile, is a 24-year-old sharpshooter. Although his percentages dipped drastically in 2012, the North Carolina alum shot greater than 39 percent from distance in each of his first two seasons.

    Both teams landed steals here.

    -- Report via B/R's Minnesota Timberwolves Tracker

Sign-and-Trade for Courtney Lee

9 of 37

    Update: Friday, July 20 -- Maxwell Ogden & Joel C. Cordes

    It took a long time but they've finally arrived. The final details of the Courtney Lee sign-and-trade have been released and clarity has been granted.

    Here is Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald with the news.

    Deal official. Lee to C's. Moore, Johnson, Williams and CHA 2nd rd pick to HOU. Pavlovic (& BOS cash to pay him) and 2 2nd-rounders to POR.

    — Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) July 20, 2012

    The Boston Celtics don't give up much at all for Lee, as E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson are both talented young players who had no place in the rotation. The same can be said about Sean Williams.

    The Rockets are expected to cut at least one of the players they've acquired in this trade according to ESPN's Chris Forsberg:

    Source confirmed today that cap-conscious Rockets still expected to waive E'Twaun Moore. Teams with space wise to hop on him on waivers.

    — Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) July 20, 2012

    JaJuan Johnson could also be released or traded depending on the Rockets cap and depth situation going forward.

    -- Report via B/R's Boston Celtics Tracker

     

    Update: Friday, July 20 -- Maxwell Ogden

    The Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics have put together one of the most confusing sign-and-trades in the history of the NBA. Thankfully, the drama has ended and the deal is official.

    HoopsRumors.com's official Twitter page has the news.

    Rockets announce Courtney Lee S&T. In addition to the previously-reported players, Houston receives the rights to Jon Diebler from Portland.

    — Hoops Rumors (@HoopsRumors) July 20, 2012

    The announcement of this deal puts an end to a roller coaster ride. It also finalizes what some felt remained on the fence.

     

    Update: Friday, July 20 -- Maxwell Ogden

    No deal should be this complicated.

    The details surrounding the Boston Celtics sign-and-trade for Courtney Lee have finally emerged. The deal will be fully guaranteed and put Lee in position for an average of over $5 million a year.

    Guard Courtney Lee lands a four-year, $21.5 million fully guaranteed deal from the Celtics in sign and trade deal, source tells Y! Sports.

    — Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 20, 2012

    Boston Celtics fans can finally breathe easy as the deal has been clarified. They can also look on in anticipation as one of the most well-rounded wingmen in the game lands a spot on their roster.

    -- Report via B/R's Free Agency Tracker

     

    Update: Friday, July 20 -- Maxwell Ogden

    New details from the Boston Celtics' sign-and-trade for Courtney Lee continue to emerge, as the complicated deal has found validity.

    Many have pondered how the deal could possibly work from a financial standpoint. John Hollinger of ESPN.com has the latest details on how it will be done.

    Hearing C Lee deal is more like 4.6M to start. Celtics paying Pavlovic's salary for Blazers and threw Portland a 2nd.

    — John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) July 20, 2012

    This is a good deal for the Portland Trail Blazers as they land a decent rotational option and a second round draft choice. The Celtics, meanwhile, finally have an explanation as to how they have acquired their prized target.

    -- Report via B/R's Free Agency Tracker

     

    Update: Friday, July 20 — Ethan Norof

    The sign-and-trade scenario for Lee to head to Boston has avoided any potential snags as Portland has stepped into the picture. The Trail Blazers will acquire Sasha Pavlovic from Boston in addition to the previously reported elements of the deal.

     

    Deal for C. Lee brought back from dead. Portland steps in as 3rd team. Celts also sign and move Sasha Pavlovic (w/Moore, Johnson, Williams)

    — Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) July 20, 2012

     

    -Content for this report provided by B/R's Boston Celtics Offseason Tracker.


    Update: Thursday, July 19 -- Maxwell Ogden

    Upon hearing of the Boston Celtics' swap of JaJuan Johnson for Courtney Lee, the Twittersphere erupted in an outcry. The reason? Financially speaking, that deal would have been impossible to make.

    Per a report via the NBA on ESPN's official Twitter page, the finite details have been revealed.

    Courtney Lee to C's for likely package of JaJuan Johnson, E'Twaun Moore, Sean Williams and a 2 pick. @ESPNForsberg.es.pn/OxcY2C

    — The NBA on ESPN (@NBAonESPN) July 19, 2012

    This leaves the Boston Celtics without one of their top Summer League performers, E'Twaun Moore. All in all, it remains a deal worth making as Lee is a proven player with an NBA Finals appearance under his belt.

    -- Report via B/R's Boston Celtics Tracker

     

    Update: Thursday, July 19 -- Maxwell Ogden

    The Boston Celtics have had quite an offseason. They've bolstered their perimeter with some solid acquisitions and rid themselves of some aging legs. Their latest move simply offers more of the same.

    Marc. J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Celtics have landed one of the hidden gems in this year's period of free agency.

    Celtics to acquire G Courtney Lee from Rockets in a sign and trade sending back F JaJuan Johnson, sources tell Y! Details being finalized.

    — Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 19, 2012

    Courtney Lee adds to a stacked perimeter that includes Avery Bradley, Jason Terry, Paul Pierce and Jeff Green. While playing time could be difficult to come across, Courtney Lee's sharpshooting and defensive prowess could help the Celtics in a major way come the postseason.

    -- Report via B/R's Boston Celtics Tracker

     

    Update: Tuesday, July 17 — Joel C. Cordes

    Courtney Lee has been on the Chicago Bulls' and Boston Celtics' radars, but with O.J. Mayo off the free-agent board to the Dallas Mavericks, other suitors are beginning to line up.

    The St. Paul Pioneer reports that the Minnesota Timberwolves want Lee if their offer to Nic Batum is (likely) matched by the Portland Trail Blazers.

    So too, the Phoenix Suns are eyeing Lee after their offer to Eric Gordon was matched by the New Orleans Hornets.

    Finally, the Los Angeles Lakers could have interest in a sign-and-trade, although one wonders what attractive assets they still have left to offer in such a deal.

     

    Update: Tuesday, July 10 — Maxwell Ogden & Joel C. Cordes

    According to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com, Courtney Lee is the latest wingman on the Boston Celtics' radar. As Blakely reports, however, Lee is well aware of the Celtics' financial predicament and offers insight as to how a deal could potentially get done.

    "Houston and (Rockets general manager) Daryl Morrey . . . he loves draft picks," [Courtney] Lee said. "That's one thing you can do, sign-and-trade. With Houston loving draft picks and Boston not having money to pay a player, that may be an option for both teams."

    However, the Celtics are just "one of eight teams" in the hunt, according to Lee in Blakely's report.

    Will the Celtics trade a draft choice for a player who plays the same position as both Avery Bradley and Jason Terry, while also signaling that Mickael Pietrus would not return? Lee could spot time at the 3, yet Paul Pierce and Jeff Green may take issue with that idea.

    Keep a close eye on Lee to the Celtics. However, because the Boston Celtics have nothing but minimum-level contracts to offer, a sign-and-trade is necessary on their front.

    While they figure that out, the Dallas Mavericks, Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves and others are all still in the market for a shooting guard. And all of them have more money to offer right now.

D-12 to L.A., Bynum to Cleveland Hits Snag

10 of 37

    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.

     

    Update: 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 Magic were 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.

    Update: 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 would obviously go to the Los Angeles Lakers, Andrew Bynum would still end up with the Cavaliers, and Anderson Varejao and plenty of draft picks would 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.

     

    Update: Monday, July 16 — Ethan Norof

    The Dwight Howard situation isn't exactly being resolved at light speed.

    After talk of a three-team trade sending Howard to the Lakers was deemed to be a bit premature, it turns out that the deal was dead before talks really got off the ground.

    Nothing to these trade rumors involving #Cavs, Lakers and Magic, league source confirms. No merit to them at all.

    — Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) July 15, 2012

    That's a fairly definitive update, and it's not surprising whatsoever to learn that the three-team deal never had any traction. After all, could anyone really imagine Dan Gilbert signing off on a deal that facilitates Howard landing in Los Angeles?

    - End of Update -

     

    In a shocking turn of events, it appears as if the Dwight Howard trade talks have found new life. The latest proposed deal has D-12 shipping out to Los Angeles and Andrew Bynum ending up in a surprising new territory.

    Three-team deal may send Dwight Howard to Lakers, Andrew Bynum to Cavs and picks/prospects/cap relief to Magic. Still trying to get details.

    — Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 14, 2012

    The likelihood of the deal is unclear. The impact of the deal, however, is quite obvious. Both Cleveland and Los Angeles would emerge as instant threats in their respective conferences, with the Lakers becoming on-paper favorites for the crown.

The Lakers Pursuit of Dwight Howard

11 of 37

    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 provided by B/R's Dwight Howard 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 on to 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.

    Especially 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.

     

    Update: Friday, July 6, 1:09 p.m. EDT — Maxwell Ogden

    Per a report via Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld.com, the Orlando Magic's interest in Andrew Bynum could pay off. As Pincus reports, the Lakers are no longer afraid of their potential inability to re-sign Dwight Howard, while Andrew Bynum has expressed a desire to re-sign in Orlando should the deal go through.

    With all of this speculative talk, it's only fair to assume something will occur. As NESN reports, the Lakers have already informed one of their players that they could be involved in a D-12 deal.

    Report: Lakers 'Very Interested' in Trading for Dwight Howard, Inform One Player He Might Get Dealt bit.ly/N2EsKH

    — NESN (@NESN) July 6, 2012

    A wild offseason is only getting crazier.

    Despite indications that the Brooklyn Nets still have a shot at landing Dwight Howard, it appears that the Orlando Magic still have something else in mind.

    According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, it involves the Los Angeles Lakers' Andrew Bynum:

    As Orlando works to unload Dwight Howard, Magic focusing on Lakers' Andrew Bynum as top target, sources tell Y! Sports. Story soon on site.

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 3, 2012

    It remains to be seen whether Bynum would be enough for Orlando to part ways with Howard. There's also the chance that Howard will attempt to sabotage a deal by refusing to re-sign with Los Angeles in 2013. 

    Nevertheless, RealGM's Jarrod N. Rudolph reports that the Lakers have an offer ready to go:

    Source: Lakers are prepared to offer the Andrew Bynum and Metta World Peace to the Magic for Dwight Howard provided Howard signs extension

    — Jarrod N Rudolph (@JRudolphSports) July 3, 2012

    If Howard isn't willing to sign an extension with Los Angeles, Orlando's options presumably narrow considerably. The Lakers have what Orlando wants, but Howard's willingness to play there remains a prerequisite to any deal happening.

    For now, it continues to appear that Howard's objectives and Orlando's interests are out of sync.

Timberwolves, Grizzlies Trade Ellington for Cunningham

12 of 37

    Update: Wednesday, July 18 — Ethan Norof

    According to Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500, the Timberwolves and Grizzlies have a "verbal agreement" on a trade.

    The deal would send backup big man Dante Cunningham to Minnesota, while the T-Wolves would send Wayne Ellington to Memphis.

    Wolfson notes that the deal will become official when paperwork is sent into the league office, and as long as there are no unexpected twists or turns, this minor transaction should go through before long.

Knicks, Blazers Agree to Sign-and-Trade Including Raymond Felton

13 of 37

    Update (7/16/12 at 5:18 p.m. EDT) by Maxwell Ogden

    According to Alex Raskin of NJ.com, the Raymond Felton-to-the-New York Knicks deal is now official.

    [Portland] will receive Dan Gadzuric's non-guaranteed contract, a future protected second-round pick (probably 2016), the rights to Kostas Papanikolaou—the Knicks' only draft pick in 2012—and Giorgos Printezis, as well as Jared Jeffries, who will also be signed and traded.

    The Knicks give up quite a few players in this deal, although nothing significant. Papanikolaou, however, is considered to be the prize of this deal.

    --End of Update--

     

    In what could potentially end the New York Knicks' pursuit of Jeremy Lin, the franchise has completed a sign-and-trade for a familiar face.

    Confirmed that Ray Felton is heading to the Knicks with Kurt Thomas in a sign and trade.

    — Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) July 15, 2012

    Raymond Felton averaged 17.1 points and 9.0 assists in 54 games with the New York Knicks in 2011. Clearly the Knicks believe that they can receive the same type of contribution in 2013.

Houston Rockets STILL After Dwight Howard

14 of 37

    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 rebuild, Morey is offering all of those facets in exchange for Howard. This proposed trade would send most of the Rockets rookies and cap space to Orlando for Howard 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?

Kyle Korver Traded to Atlanta Hawks

15 of 37

    Update: Friday, July 13 — Eric Ball

    The Chicago Bulls have given up yet another scoring option on Friday, this time it's via trade. 

    Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks continue to rebuild their team on the fly in the aftermath of the Joe Johnson trade.

    Atlanta has significantly increased their three-point shooting with the news they have acquired Chicago sharp-shooter Kyle Korver as first reported by K.C. Jones of the Chicago Tribune:

    Pending passed physical, Bulls have traded Kyle Korver to Atlanta. Could be sign-and-trade w/Hinrich. Details soon at chicagotribune.com.

    — K.C Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 13, 2012

    While details of the sign-and-trade have yet to be announced, Jones reports that a third team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, was also involved in the deal.  They’ll reportedly receive the Hawks' trade exception, while the Bulls will save $500,000 and obtain a second-round pick from Minnesota.

    The deal will not be officially completed until Korver passes a physical.

    Chicago had a Sunday deadline to either exercise the $5 million option for the 2012-13 season on Korver or waive him for $500,000.

    It’s an interesting decision by Chicago.

    With C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer not expected to return and Korver now a Hawk, the depth at guard is nonexistent as Derrick Rose continues to rehab from an ACL injury.

    The Bulls must have something else up their sleeves to acquire more scoring guards. Stay tuned…

     

    Update: Wednesday, July 11 — Joel C. Cordes

    Despite providing another solid season off the bench for the Chicago Bulls, three-point specialist Kyle Korver does not appear to be in their plans going forward.

    A one-dimensional player only, Korver has not lived up to the huge numbers he produced in his final season with the Utah Jazz, and the Bulls are apparently tired of waiting.

    As they clear space to re-sign Omer Asik and keep their other options open, the Bulls are shopping Korver to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Minnesota needs outside shooting badly, whether or not they lure Nic Batum away from the Portland Trail Blazers. The Hawks recently drafted John Jenkins and signed Lou Williams, but they apparently feel the need for more behind-the-arc firepower.

Clippers, Hornets Talk Marco Belinelli

16 of 37

    Update: Friday, July 13 — Joel C. Cordes

    According to The Times Picayune, the L.A. Clippers and New Orleans Hornets have discussed sending Marco Belinelli out west, while Ryan Gomes and a second-round pick head back to the Bayou.

    This is a curious deal for both sides. The Hornets apparently don't want to re-sign Belinelli for the high price they're sure he'll receive on the open market. However, there are yet to be any reports of suitors waving wads of cash at him!

    More perplexing from the Clippers' angle, is why are they offering a player and pick when they could just sign Belinelli outright? They too may believe that his asking price won't fit into their cap situation.

    Therefore, they'll let the Hornets sign him for the higher number while fitting the puzzle pieces with Gomes' contract.

    Marco's a talented shooter who can put the ball on the floor a little bit too, and he was a reasonable fill-in for an injured Eric Gordon last year. Still, one wonders what Belinelli's market price actually is before all this seemingly premature trade talk.

Mavericks, Raptors Talk Jose Calderon

17 of 37

    According to Marc Stein of ESPNDallas.com, the Dallas Mavericks have reportedly engaged in trade talks with the Toronto Raptors. The focus of these discussions has been point guard Jose Calderon.

    The Raptors, sources say, are open to a trade but want to send Calderon to a team with salary-cap space that can absorb the Spaniard's $10.6 million salary, thereby creating a trade exception for Toronto and giving them added financial flexibility for further moves.

    The Dallas Mavericks certainly have the cap room to pull this move off. The question that must be answered, however, is whether or not they'd be willing to accept such a hefty contract. With both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard entering free agency in 2012, the answer could be no.

    Desperation changes every thought process, though, so don't be shocked to see this deal go down.

Blazers and Wolves Still Talking Batum Deal

18 of 37

    Update: Friday, July 13 — Joel C. Cordes

    The Portland Trail Blazers and Minnesota Timberwolves continue to dance around Nicholas Batum. While neither side has expressed anything new, the body language is telling: 

    Latest from T.C.: Looks like Thurs will come & go with no offer sheet sent to Blazers and no S-T, although there was lots of talk about both

    — Jerry Zgoda(@JerryZgoda) July 13, 2012

    The Wolves have surely not given up on acquiring the young slasher, so their absence of submitting the offer sheet means that something else is going on.

    Portland hasn't been openly willing to listen to deals, but the rumors that they want Wolves forward Derrick Williams in return are beginning to surface according to ESPN 1500 Minnesota.

     

    Update: Thursday, July 12 — Joel C. Cordes

    The Minnesota Timberwolves just won't give up on getting Nic Batum.

    Though the Portland Trail Blazers have resisted both the Wolves' overtures and Batum's pleas, they're apparently at the table now, discussing a possible sign-and-trade for their 23-year-old restricted free agent.

    By involving draft picks (Kyle Korver and the Chicago Bulls), the T-Wolves have gotten the Blazers to at least discuss the possibility of letting Batum walk. It first appeared as if Korver was a Wolves target, but he may simply be a piece in their latest machinations.

    The Timberwolves will apparently amnesty Darko Milcic in order to offer Batum a max contract offer and/or to facilitate a sign-and-trade.

    Minnesota desperately wants an athletic finisher to pair with Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love. While it's debatable whether Batum has warranted a max contract so far, his potential alone has both the Blazers and Wolves wrangling over his future.

    Having lost out on Roy Hibbert to the Indiana Pacers, Portland has the money to keep Nic Batum. However, he's repeatedly requested to be released or traded to Minnesota.

    Stay tuned. 

Nets Are Shopping Kris Humphries and MarShon Brooks

19 of 37

    Update: Thursday, July 12 — Joel C. Cordes

    Having backed away from Dwight Howard, the Brooklyn Nets are still active on the trading front.

    While Kris Humphries is already an unrestricted free agent who's unlikely to re-sign with them, the Nets are still shopping him as a sign-and-trade candidate. Antawn Jamison and the Cleveland Cavaliers seem the most likely target at the moment, though the Nets will try to squeeze out some returns regardless of where Humphries winds up.

    MarShon Brooks is also on the docket, though not necessarily in conjunction with Humphries. While Brooks was solid last season and could be a sixth-man role player for the Nets this year, they are using him as a trade chip, presumably to snag additional veteran help.

Brooklyn Nets on Verge of Sign-and-Trade

20 of 37

    Just when we thought that the Brooklyn Nets were done with trade talks involving the Cleveland Cavaliers, it appears that a sign-and-trade could be on the way after all.

    Sources confirm Cavs & Nets have talked sign-and-trade involving Antawn Jamison. Story: tinyurl.com/c79wr46

    — Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) July 12, 2012

    Not the player one would expect, now is it? Nevertheless, a defensively inept frontcourt could be on the cusp for the Brooklyn Nets.

Luis Scola on His Way out of Houston?

21 of 37

    Update: Thursday, July 12 — Joel C. Cordes

    Having never given up their dogged pursuit of Dwight Howard, the Houston Rockets still won't stop.

    Luis Scola has been a trade chip up to this point, but would the Rockets really amnesty their hard-working forward just to clear some cap space? Some sources think so:

    Very interesting wrinkle - possibility of Scola amnesty to facilitate getting Howard to Rox per @Jonathan_Feigen

    — Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) July 12, 2012

    After an offseason spent acquiring numerous draft picks, trading away Kyle Lowry and letting Goran Dragic walk, the Rockets are entering full rebuild mode anyway, regardless of whether Howard ever comes or not. 

    Scola and Kevin Martin's days in Houston are numbered one way or the other.

    - End of Update - 

     

    The Houston Rockets acquired multiple top-15 picks in the NBA draft with a trade for Dwight Howard in mind. That didn't happen, and the Rockets are looking to re-tool their roster in other ways.

    The newest name to pop up is Luis Scola. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Rockets are shopping their power forward. 

    The Houston Rockets are actively looking to trade veteran power forward Luis Scola, according to league sources briefed on Houston's plans. Although a specific trade partner for Houston has not yet emerged, sources told ESPN.com that the Rockets—stocked with big forwards after coming away with Royce White and Terrence Jones in the NBA draft earlier this week—are working to find a new home for Scola as they rebuild their roster.

    The additions of White and Jones certainly make Scola expendable. He has two more years left on his contract, and he's owed nearly $20 million. The two rookies are cheaper options, and their development depends on playing time.

    I'll go out on a limb here and say I smell a three-team swap between the Nets, Rockets and Magic. Dwight Howard wants out, the Rockets need a center and they have the assets to make it happen. The Nets just want Howard. 

    This is a new situation, and you can bet Houston will remain active on all fronts.

Pacers Send Collison, Jones to Dallas for Mahinmi

22 of 37

    It appears as if the Dallas Mavericks have found their point guard of the future after all.

    In a trade that no one saw coming, the Indiana Pacers have sent point guard Darren Collison and swingman Dahntay Jones to the Dallas Mavericks for 6'11" big man Ian Mahinmi. This deal was confirmed by Marc Stein of ESPN.com.

    Multiple reports say the Indiana Pacers will trade guards Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones to the Dallas Mavericks for center Ian Mahinmi.

    — Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 12, 2012

    This trade enables George Hill to officially become the Indiana Pacers' No. 1 option at the point. It also enables the Dallas Mavericks to enter the season with a starting point guard on the roster. Whichever way your bias swings, this is a helpful trade to both sides.

Conflicting Reports on D-12's Future

23 of 37

    The Twittersphere broke into pandemonium as Jarrod N. Rudolph of RealGM.com reported that the D-12 trade talks had hit a temporary dead end.

    Sources: Orlando Magic have informed Dwight Howard that they are suspending trade talks in favor of finding next head coach.

    — Jarrod N Rudolph (@JRudolphSports) July 11, 2012

    Before the craze could get to a Beatles-like level, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com disproved the rumors. His report came straight from Orlando GM Rob Hennigan's mouth.

    Magic GM Hennigan on reports that Howard trade talks have been suspended: "That's not accurate."

    — Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 11, 2012

    As of this moment, trade talks remain active. Whether or not a deal will get done, however, is an entirely different story.

Jarrett Jack Headed to Golden State

24 of 37

    According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Golden State Warriors have added a much needed reserve point guard. The cost to acquire said player will be slim to none.

    Warriors to get Jarrett Jack & Hornets only have to take back draft rights to Edin Bavcic (originally Philly-bound) to complete the trade

    — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 11, 2012

    Jarrett Jack is a strong player who has played both the point and 2 over the span of his seven-year career. He gets to the line well and knows how to pace and facilitate an offense, which he displayed last year in New Orleans.

    This is a great addition behind the injury-prone Stephen Curry.

Marcus Camby Traded to New York

25 of 37

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

    Details of Marcus Camby's new contract have been detailed by Mark Deeks:

    Marcus Camby's three year deal pays him $13,151,319, and descends in value. But only $1,025,890 of $4,177,208 is guaranteed in year three.

    — Mark Deeks (@MarkDeeksNBA) July 16, 2012

     

    UPDATE (7/10/12 at 8:44 p.m.) by Maxwell Ogden & Joel C. Cordes

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets have agreed to a trade:

    Houston and New York agreed on a sign-and-trade deal sending Douglas, Harrelson, Jordan to Rockets for picks, sources said.

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2012

    This deal appears to be in response to the Rockets' inability to sign a point guard this season and will also allow the Knicks to acquire Marcus Camby via a sign-and-trade:

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Marcus Camby has agreed to sign with the New York Knicks.

    Marcus Camby has reached agreement on a deal with the Knicks, league sources tell Y! Sports.

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2012

    The deal is a reported $13.2 million over the next three years. Camby will add great depth behind Tyson Chandler at the 5. He's an intelligent player who stays out of foul rouble and rebounds better than anyone currently on the Knicks roster.

     

    UPDATE (7/8/12 at 11:15 a.m) by Maxwell Ogden

    The word "shocking" is beginning to lose it's value.

    Just when we thought things couldn't get any stranger, Marcus Camby threw the latest curveball as he Miami Heat" target="_self">cancelled his visit with the Miami Heat. This comes on the heels of Marc J. Spears' report that the Heat and New York Knicks were the top contenders for Camby's services.

     

    NYK and MIA leaders in comp to land HOU C Marcus Camby with either $3m mini mid or Sign-N-Trade, source tells Y! SA,DAL, HOU also interested

    — Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 6, 2012

     

    With the cancelled visit, one would be safe to assume the New York Knicks have the advantage. An advantage, of course, that one could refer to as a potential signing.

    --End of Update--


    The New York Knicks are a team with immense talent and the upside to win an NBA championship. Unfortunately, they're far too immature as a unit and lack the necessary chemistry to put it all together. To cure those woes, the Knicks have begun targeting veteran players.

    The latest you'll name is one that die-hards are very well acquainted with.

     

    Rockets center Marcus Camby to meet with Heat on Saturday, source said. Knicks next. Rockets unlikely, and not until after Asik decision.

    — Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 6, 2012

     

    With a front court that lacks any type of depth beyond All-Stars Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, the acquisition of Camby could be key to the Knicks' postseason production. It could also be the veteran acquisition that pushes the Knicks into place.

Atlanta Hawks Believe They're in Contention for Dwight Howard

26 of 37

    According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, a dark-horse suitor in the hunt for Dwight Howard has emerged with confidence.

    Hawks, I'm told, still think they're alive in Dwight trade chase. With plenty of pieces to offer and Josh Smith to lobby Howard to stay

    — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 11, 2012

    The Hawks have a handful of young talent and a surplus of cap space upon trading Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets. They also have Josh Smith, as noted, who is close friends with D-12.

    A deal could be done. The question is, do they have enough to sway the Orlando Magic's attention away from Brooklyn and Los Angeles?

Dorell Wright Moving to Philadelphia 76ers

27 of 37

    Update: Wednesday, July 11 — Joel C. Cordes

    The Golden State Warriors had to make a move at the small forward spot, and Dorell Wright is the odd man out, according to CSNPhilly.

    Having drafted Harrison Barnes to be their next scoring star, the Warriors also have fended off suitors for super-shooting sub Brandon Rush.

    Wright has been a solid starter in Golden State for the past two seasons, but the 26-year-old appears to have hit his ceiling as a 10-to-12 point per game contributor who can stretch the floor. 

    Barnes is the high draft pick with more upside, and Rush will gobble up all the bench minutes at either wing spot. Wright will enter an even more confusing logjam with the Philadelphia 76ers alongside Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young and Moe Harkless.

Outside Teams Complicate Dwight Howard Trade

28 of 37

    Update: 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.

     

    Update 4: Tuesday, July 10 — Maxwell Ogden

    The potential Dwight Howard-to-Los Angeles trade talks just took an expensive turn for the better. As Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reports, L.A. is willing to take on a big-time deal to land their missing piece.

    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

    This will put the Lakers even further over the luxury tax, which makes one wonder why the deal would even be done. Clearly, Los Angeles is willing to move some major, expensive pieces to get the deal done.

     

    Update 3: Tuesday, July 10 — Maxwell Ogden

    According to Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld.com, the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers have resumed preliminary trade talks. This time around, a third team has emerged as a potential suitor: the Houston Rockets.

    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.

    D-12 to Los Angeles continues to look like a legitimate possibility. With the inclusion of numerous first-round picks, young players and cap space, the deal only strengthens.

     

    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 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 heels.

    The Cleveland Cavaliers were supposed to be a part of the deal, but now 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 to the deal 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! Sports' 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 obsessed this offseason, stopping at nothing short of a full franchise teardown 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.

Nets Making Progress in Quest for Dwight

29 of 37

    The Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic are reportedly on the verge of striking a deal that would send Dwight Howard to Brooklyn.

     

    Update 3: Monday, July 9 at 11:32 a.m. ET by Joel C. Cordes

    Whether it becomes a three- or four-trade deal remains up in the air, but ESPN's Chris Broussard thinks that Jason Richardson will be a part of the deal either way:

    Nets willing, able - & likely, if it goes down - to take back J-Rich in 3-team Dwight deal with Magic & Cavs, source says.

    — Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 9, 2012

    This would make sense, as MarShon Brooks is likely to be leaving Brooklyn as part of the trade. Thus, the Nets would need some sort of scoring punch and versatility off their suddenly shallow bench.

    Richardson is a solid shooter who can still put the ball on the floor, and his veteran experience would be welcomed for a second unit that's likely to consist of NBA leftovers.

    Brooklyn is willing to gut the rest of the roster if it lands them Dwight Howard to play alongside Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace and (presumably) Mirza Teletovic in the starting lineup.

     

    Update 2: Monday, July 9 at 10:42 a.m. ET by Joel C. Cordes

    Yahoo! Sports' 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 at 10:42 a.m. ET by 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

    Orlando Magic brass are apparently meeting at 9 a.m. 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.

    -Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Orlando Magic offseason tracker.

     

    Update: Sunday, July 8 at 12:04 p.m. ET by Stephen Babb

    The Orlando Magic appear to be nearing a three-team deal that would send Dwight Howard to his preferred destination of the Brooklyn Nets. According to HOOPSWORLD's Alex Kennedy, the third team in this scenario may be the Cleveland Cavaliers:

    The Magic, Nets and Cavaliers are in serious talks on a three-team trade that involves Dwight Howard and many other players.

    — Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 9, 2012

    Kennedy further explains that while new Orlando general manager Rob Hennigan and the front office are mulling things over, we could have an end to this ongoing drama by Monday:

    Orlando is still weighing options. Magic brass will meet tomorrow morning to decide if this is best deal. A trade could be completed Monday.

    — Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 9, 2012

    According to Real GM's Jarrod N. Rudolph, this deal will be every bit as complicated as the storyline leading up to it:

    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

    It's hard to imagine the Magic determining that a better deal is available. With Howard so unwilling to sign extensions with teams outside of Brooklyn, the market for his services has narrowed.

    Additionally, the opportunity to acquire a platoon of young talent and picks alike probably won't reemerge anytime soon. If the Magic are to make a deal and get maximum return for Howard's services, now is almost certainly the time to do it.

    ---End of Update---

     

    UPDATE: Sunday, July 8 at 8:20 p.m. ET by Sam Quinn

    According to Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com via Twitter, talks between the two teams are heating up:

    If this trade does come to fruition, it would be the first major blockbuster of the NBA summer and would change the landscape of the Eastern Conference.

    The Magic obviously wouldn't be the contender that they were with Howard, but the Nets would catapult all the way to the top-third of the standings with one of the best big men in the league in the paint.

    It will come as a relief to many if this saga may be put to rest after months of chaos and swirling rumors within the NBA community. Of course, all reports must be taken with a grain of salt, but this is the first time that we've heard the phrases "very close" and "very soon" regarding this trade.

    Stay tuned to Bleacher Report for all the latest on this situation.

    ---End of Update---

     

    This won't come as a surprise to most NBA fans. Dwight Howard officially told new Magic GM Rob Hennigan that he would like to be a Brooklyn Net, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard.

    UPDATE: Sunday, July 8 at 5:48 p.m. ET by Richard Langford

    The New Jersey Nets are looking to work a three-team deal that will land them Howard. Apparently they need the third team so they can sign-and-trade Kris Humphries. 

    CBS Sports' Ken Berger reports that sources say they are "making progress" in this regard. If this is true, the Nets must be considered the front-runners in this trade race. It seems unlikely that they would go chasing down a third team for this deal if they didn't have strong indications the Magic were on board. 

     

    UPDATE: Thursday, July 5 at 3:25 p.m. ET — Stephen Babb

    At one point, it seemed like the Nets and Magic were worlds apart on finding a trade framework that would interest new Orlando general manager Rob Hennigan. Nevertheless, according to CBS Sports' Ken Berger, the two sides have kept at it and may be making some progress:

    The Nets and Magic are "still plugging away" with possible Howard trade scenarios, according to a person familiar with the process. "Everything is in play," said another person connected to the talks, including a possible deal with theLakers, whose stunning acquisition of Steve Nash Wednesday night may have pushed them onto Howard's radar as a team with whom he'd sign an extension if traded.

    For a deal of this magnitude, there are any number of iterations that it could take, including—as Berger mentions—deals involving a third team.

    Hennigan is in no rush to move Howard. He likely took note of how the Denver Nuggets' patience in moving Carmelo Anthony ultimately yielded a bounty of young assets. Waiting things out this summer could similarly give Orlando the best head start in rebuilding for the post-Dwight era.

    ---End of Update---

     

    This is "old hat" for people following the situation. Howard's interest in the Nets is well-documented, and it has been for about a year. The Nets have the assets to make the move, and Deron Williams' presence makes them a tantalizing option for the All-Star center. 

    I'd expect Howard to move eventually. The bad blood seems to be bubbling over between the Magic organization and Howard's camp. According to Broussard, Howard believes he was "blackmailed."

    Howard picked up the option for the final year of his contract with Orlando on March 15. But since then he has grown increasingly disgruntled with the organization, even telling people close to him that he feels the Magic "blackmailed" him into signing the "opt-in" clause. Howard feels the Magic made promises that have not been kept to get him to sign.

    A deal is not imminent. The specific pieces are not in place, but a deal could happen by the end of the summer. Of course, all of this depends on the Nets, Williams and Brooklyn's pursuit of Joe Johnson.

Houston Rockets Send Kyle Lowry to Toronto Raptors

30 of 37

    The Toronto Raptors may have missed out on Steve Nash, but that doesn't mean they'll be heading into next season with Jose Calderon as the starting point guard once again.

    According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the Houston Rockets will send Kyle Lowry to the Toronto Raptors:

    Houston has reached agreement to send Kyle Lowry to the Raptors for a package that includes a future lottery pick, source tells Y!

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 5, 2012

    The 26-year-old point guard had his best all-around season this year and has steadily improved since his early days with the Memphis Grizzlies. In 47 games, he averaged 14.3 points, 6.6 assists and 4.5 rebounds.

    Lowry will bring a dynamic scoring ability to Toronto's backcourt, along with a combination of strength and quickness that allows him to make some noise in the paint.

    What this means for Jose Calderon's future isn't entirely clear just yet. The veteran passer has one more season on his contract, but the Raptors could decide to let him go so that he can pursue a starting job elsewhere.

Magic Not Impressed with Trade Offers for Howard so Far

31 of 37

    While there appeared to be movement on a Dwight Howard deal early this morning, that now does not appear to be the case. 

    Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Orlando Magic have not been impressed with any deal they have been offered and won't seriously consider trading Howard until a team makes a real, substantial offer. 

    So far, this is true: Orlando hasn't seen an offer from any team that it believes is enough to seriously consider trading Howard now.

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 3, 2012

    Meanwhile, there appeared to at least be framework for a trade with the Brooklyn Nets beginning to take shape, but Wojnarowski claims the Magic don't believe the Nets can make the best offer for Howard.

    So while there appeared to be some movement earlier in the day, apparently we're back where we started on the Dwight Howard trade front. 

Orlando Engaging Multiple Teams in Talks for Dwight Howard

32 of 37

    Dwight Howard wants out of Orlando, and new general manager Rob Hennigan is trying to accommodate that request. 

    CBS' Ken Berger is reporting that Hennigan has engaged multiple teams in talks for Howard. 

    Orlando GM Rob Hennigan also trying to engage the Hawks, Rockets, Lakers and possibly Mavs in Howard talks. Full-court press.

    — Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 3, 2012

    The Hawks, Lakers, Rockets and Mavericks are all being talked to, but Hennigan is also working on a complicated deal that could send Howard to his preferred destination.

    The Nets and Magic are trying to work out a complicated deal that would ship Howard to Brooklyn in exchange for Brook Lopez, and Kris Humphries (via sign-and-trades), MarShon Brooks and first-round picks. 

    Berger claims it is a very complicated scenario, and Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski says for that deal to happen a third team will actually need be involved to take Humphries. 

Hawks Exchange Marvin Williams for Devin Harris

33 of 37

    With all the talk surrounding Joe Johnson and Josh Smith, you can be forgiven for forgetting that Marvin Williams even exists.

    According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Atlanta Hawks have agreed to send Williams to Utah in exchange for Devin Harris:

    Just going online and on SportsCenter: Hawks have agreed in principle to deal Marvin Williams to Utah for Devin Harris to shed even more $

    — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 2, 2012

    The move appears to be yet another attempt by general manager Danny Ferry to improve the organization's short-term cap flexibility.

    Williams had a player option in 2013-14 that would have paid him $7.5 million. Harris, meanwhile, is a free agent after this upcoming season.

    If the Hawks manage to trade both Williams and Joe Johnson, the team could have over $30 million in the summer of 2013 to re-sign free agents like Jeff Teague and pursue some outside talent as well.

Orlando Not Interested in Brooklyn's Offers for Dwight Howard

34 of 37

    David Aldridge is reporting that the Orlando Magic aren't interested in whatever the Brooklyn Nets are offering for Dwight Howard's services:

    Despite Dwight Howard's desire to go to Brooklyn, there's currently no Nets deal that interests Orlando, according to source. Story up soon.

    — David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 2, 2012

    The Magic's disaffected center is apparently set on Brooklyn, but it may not make a difference if the Magic think they can get a better offer.

    Of course, they could just be playing hard to get in order to maximize their returns. New general manager Rob Hennigan surely doesn't want to be taken a fool during his first few weeks on the job.

    That may leave the Los Angeles Lakers as the only alternative suitor with a deal to Hennigan's liking, but it's unclear how Howard would react to such a scenario—or whether his reaction would even matter.

    Meanwhile, the Nets look to be making plans for life without Howard.

    ESPN's Chris Broussard is reporting that Howard's chances of becoming a Net likely died with his decision to waive his opt-out clause and remain with Orlando another year:

    Source on Nets moving on from possibility of getting Dwight: "Dwight blew it in March'' when he waived opt-out clause.

    — Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 2, 2012

    That may mean Howard needs to rethink the shortlist of teams for whom he's willing to play.

Atlanta Hawks Trade Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets

35 of 37

    New general manager Danny Ferry appears set to make his first big move as the top dog with the Atlanta Hawks.

    Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting the Hawks and Brooklyn Nets have agreed to a deal that would send All-Star shooting guard Joe Johnson to Brooklyn:

    The Nets and Hawks have agreed in principle to complete the Joe Johnson trade, league sources tell Y! Sports.

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2012

    The Atlanta Journal Constitution's Michael Cunningham is going one step further and reporting an agreement is in place, at least so long as Deron Williams sticks around the Nets:

    The Hawks and Nets have agreed to terms on a trade that will send All-Star guard Joe Johnson to Brooklyn for expiring contracts and a first-round pick, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

    The person said the deal is contingent on Williams, a free agent, re-signing with the Nets. Williams is meeting with Brooklyn and Dallas today.

    Ferry is looking to improve the organization's flexibility to add talent via free agency by shedding Johnson's contract, which would pay him around $90 millon through the next four seasons. The Hawks have a young core of talent including Al Horford, Jeff Teague and ostensibly Josh Smith, unless he follows in Johnson's footsteps.

    In a bid to surround free-agent hopeful Deron Williams with an upgraded roster, the Nets are more willing to stomach the costs. The franchise is attempting to jump-start a win-now project to coincide with its move to Brooklyn, and ideally to entice Williams to stay on board.

    In that same vein, ESPN's Marc Stein reports the Nets have "reached a verbal commitment" with forward Gerald Wallace. With Wallace and Johnson on the wing, Williams would have two proven veterans at his side and improved chances at a postseason run to boot.

    Though Johnson has seen a steady decline in his production since inking his massive deal with Atlanta, the scorer averaged nearly 19 points a game last season and remains a skilled playmaker.

    There's also little doubt that if paired with Williams, Johnson's game would benefit a great deal. 

Los Angeles Lakers Jump in on Dwight Howard

36 of 37

    According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers and Magic have opened discussions surrounding Dwight Howard.

    The Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic have had preliminary contact about a possible deal for All-Star center Dwight Howard, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Orlando officials are willing to discuss trades for Howard, and the Lakers have been one of the teams in touch with them over the weekend, sources said. The Brooklyn Nets and Houston Rockets have also talked to Magic officials, sources said.

    As Wojnarowski mentions later in his piece, this isn't new territory for Los Angeles. The Lakers have discussed an Andrew Bynum-for-Howard swap in the past. 

    The Lakers had been willing to part with Bynum for Howard in March, but those talks ended when Howard decided to decline his early termination option and remain under contract through the 2012-13 season.

    There's still no conceivable way for the Lakers to land Howard without Bynum as the foundation of their end of the deal. After Bynum's breakout season in 2012, they should be reluctant to pull the trigger.

    This is a situation to keep a close eye on. The Lakers are looking to make a major impact this offseason, and Howard is the biggest name available.

The Timberwolves Maintain Interest in Pau Gasol

37 of 37

    Pau Gasol may not be a Laker by the beginning of next season, and the Timberwolves hope to be his new team. According to ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky, Minnesota's front office is maintaining its interest in the veteran forward. 

    The Minnesota Timberwolves remain interested in Pau Gasol and were willing to part with forward Derek Williams—the second pick in 2011—ahead of Thursday's draft to help swing a deal.

    Kamenetzky goes on to say that the Timberwolves still could offer Williams in a post-draft deal. This would set the Lakers back in the short term, but it could be a major long-term coup. 

    If Williams reaches his full potential, he is a steal for the Lakers. He fills a position of need, and he brings a different element to the Lakers lineup. He would complement star center Andrew Bynum, and he's cheaper (at least at this point). 

    Gasol is a great fit for an up-and-coming Minnesota roster. A deal would benefit both sides.