NBA Trade Rumors: Andrew Bynum and the Latest Updates from Around the League
With the 2012 NBA free-agency period slowly winding down, it's time for the NBA trade mill to start quenching our insatiable rumor taste.
Disgruntled Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard is obviously the crown jewel of trade talks and most other rumors seem dormant until the three-time Defensive Player of the Year is moved.
But there are some underlying trade rumors out there, and even some interesting developments tied to Howard.
With that said, here are the latest updates from around the NBA trade rumor mill.
Chicago Bulls Looking to Trade Richard Hamilton?
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Just one year after acquiring Hamilton in free agency, the Bulls are looking to move the masked gunner according to the Chicago Tribune.
Unfortunately for Chicago, it seems like no teams are interested in the services of the 13-year veteran.
With just $1 million of Hamilton's salary guaranteed for the 2013-14 season, that fact seems shocking, especially after Rip shot 45.2 percent from the field this past season, his highest shooting percentage since 2007-08.
More than likely, the Bulls will have to either wait for the free-agent market to completely shake down to get an offer, or suck it up and hold onto Hamilton through next season.
Los Angeles Lakers Refuse to Take Jason Richardson Due to Rift with Steve Nash?
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According to Fox Sports' Sam Amico, the framework of any Dwight Howard trade won't include Magic shooting guard due to a supposed personal rift with Lakers point guard Steve Nash.
While you can usually take rumors of personal conflict between NBA players with a grain of salt, Amico insisted that this is a sticking point for the Lakers in negotiations.
Whether the Jason Richardson & Nash issue is a "false rumor" or not, I can tell you with confidence Lakers wouldn't take Richardson.— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) July 19, 2012
What makes this most interesting is how well Nash and Richardson fit together on court in Phoenix. In his final 25 games as a Sun in 2010-11, Richardson was scoring nearly 20 points per game while shooting at a career high 42 percent from beyond the arc.
Without this rift development, Richardson could have been yet another talented bench cog in the Lakers' rotation if acquired with Howard.
Anderson Varejao Headed to Orlando in Howard Deal?
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As first reported by ESPN.com's Ric Bucher, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic are engaged in preliminary discussions about a trade that would send Dwight Howard to L.A., Andrew Bynum to Cleveland and Varejao (among other assets) to Orlando.
The 29-year-old Varejao has one of the more manageable contracts in the league for someone his size, and would give the Magic at least one recognizable face for fans next season.
The power forward averaged a double-double per night for the first time in 2011-2012, but he has missed a total of 92 games over the past two seasons.
If healthy, Varejao could bring his high-energy defensive presence and beautiful long locks to the rebuilding Magic.
Dwight Howard "Excited" about Possibly Playing for Los Angeles Lakers?
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According to Real GM columnist Jarrod Rudolph, league sources are saying that Howard has had a change of heart and would be open to re-signing with the Lakers past the 2012-13 season.
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
Prior to this development, it was Howard's staunch position that he would only sign an extension with the Brooklyn Nets.
However, Nets pulled out of negotiations and it seems Howard is beginning to realize the benefits of playing with three fellow All-Stars in the nation's second biggest market. If Howard actually winds up in purple and gold, it would give the Lakers a killer Big Four and make them instant favorites to win the Western Conference.
Andrew Bynum Open to Going to Cleveland Cavaliers?
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With the Cleveland Cavaliers rumored to be the likely team to acquire Bynum, everyone seems to be wondering what the 24-year-old's feels about a potential Cleveland exile.
Well according to Fox Sports Sam Amico, Bynum is more than amenable to becoming a Cavalier.
Andrew Bynum loves Cavs coach Byron Scott and loves PG Kyrie Irving, says source close to him. Link to my story ... sulia.com/c/basketball/f…— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) July 18, 2012
Also according to Amico, another reason Bynum would welcome a move to Cleveland is that he would have more alpha dog responsibilities. The center already has two championship rings and wants an opportunity to be The Man.
If Bynum winds up in Cleveland, he may have to tussle with Irving for that role, but that's a whole lot easier than battling three other All-Stars for recognition.