NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Dwight Howard, Monta Ellis and More

Alex KayCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2013

Jan 15, 2013, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) is defended by Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis (11) and center Larry Sanders (8) at the Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Bucks 104-88. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

The 2012-13 NBA season is nearing the halfway mark, but the rumors surrounding top players and teams in the league have only begun heating up.

Whether it's potential trade rumors or insiders relaying opinions from connected sources, there is plenty of buzz in the NBA right now—especially with the Feb. 21 trading deadline around the corner.

Let’s take a look at the hottest rumblings in the Association in Wednesday’s rumor roundup.


Brooklyn Nets Are Over Dwight Howard

It wasn’t too long ago that the Nets were completely enamored with DH12 and ready to go all in to acquire the big man.

Now, it seems that the franchise is content with Brook Lopez at the 5 and would be hard-pressed to make a move to acquire the Los Angeles Lakers center.

According to ESPN’s Ian O’Connor, a team insider says the Brooklyn brass just isn’t that into Howard:

It's not as cut and dried as it was last year, when the feeling was go ahead and pretty much gut the team for Dwight, give up a bunch of draft picks and players and take back bad contracts. That feeling isn't there anymore. 

Considering the Lakers are struggling and Howard is a complete liability at the free-throw line, plus appears to have lingering problems from his injury, it makes sense that the Nets are staying away.

The squad needs consistency more than anything, and adding an uncertain piece like DH12 into the equation is about the worst thing they could do on a quest to find long-term success.


Marcin Gortat Offered to Memphis Grizzlies?

The Phoenix Suns aren’t in contention, but they do have a few intriguing pieces on the roster that they could offer up to desperate teams at the deadline—including efficient center Marcin Gortat.

According to Steve Kyler of HOOPSWORLD, the Suns recently put their name in the Rudy Gay running and offered the big to Memphis for the swingman.

It would take more than Gortat to pry away Gay from a roster that has a number of talented PFs and Cs—including Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol—and Phoenix apparently tried to include Jared Dudley as another chip in a potential deal.

We imagine the Griz will hold out for something better, but expect Gortat’s name to keep floating around over the next couple of weeks.  Many contenders would love to have an effective 6’11”, 240-pounder for a playoff run.


Milwaukee Bucks Struggling to Make Deals

The Bucks have two superstar guards in Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, but it seems they aren’t particularly interested in dealing either of the two.

Rather, the organization is reportedly (as per Kyler) looking to move some less “attractive” players—namely Drew Gooden, Samuel Dalembert and Beno Udrih.

It has been, and will continue to be, tough to find suitors for these underperforming, overpaid reserves, but Milwaukee may be able to dump them if they package them with more productive pieces.

Unfortunately for PG-needy teams, Jennings will likely remain with the Bucks—as they are maintaining they will match any offer to the impending restricted free agent.

However, Ellis is set to become a UFA after the 2012-13 campaign and may be available for the right price. If he’s going to walk this summer—and there is a good chance he will—the Bucks may as well get some value for the undersized gunner.

It would be wise if the franchise tried to ship out a few bad contracts in the process, putting themselves in better position to sign some talent in the offseason.