With the NBA trade deadline just two weeks away, it's hard to tell which rumors are right and which ones are hoaxes.
Each year sees one or two players get their names caught in the trade winds, and the next few days are absolutely psychotic as these men are suddenly being linked to teams that couldn't land them even if they tried.
It's no different this year.
Free agent to-be Dwight Howard has been told he won't be traded, but has made it clear he's not happy in Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni's system. On the east coast, the Boston Celtics' core could be blown up due to a disappointing season.
This is just the start of what's sure to become a circus in the coming weeks.
Fans are sure to get caught up in the hullabaloo and find themselves buying into a rumor that could be the furthest thing from the truth. Fortunately, I've had my ear to the ground for quite some time and have learned to determine just which rumors are the real deal and which are just plain wrong.
Los Angeles Lakers Committed to Dwight Howard For Remainder of Season
As was mentioned earlier, Dwight Howard has been unhappy in the fast-paced offense of Mike D'Antoni, and it appeared as though he would find himself traded yet again. However, team management appears to have done a 180.
Per ESPN's Chris Broussard, GM Mitch Kupchak has told Howard that he will not be traded. Moreover, the Lakers are "very confident" that the team will be able to re-sign him in July.
It's great that the team is confident, but what about the fact that the Lakers have gone 3-0 in the games Howard has missed since re-injuring his shoulder? Surely the Lakers aren't going to risk tampering with the formula once again.
Just the same, Kupchak is usually a trustworthy source when it comes to matters like this. He isn't one to feed speculation to the press, and this case should be no exception.
Boston Celtics Blowing Up Core with Garnett Trade?
Just a few days ago, speculation surrounding Kevin Garnett exploded after Sean Deveney of the Sporting News tweeted that Boston GM Danny Ainge had spoken with the Los Angeles Clippers about a deal involving the veteran big man. In return, Boston would receive forward Caron Butler and guard Eric Bledsoe.
Garnett himself said that he would understand if a trade went down, but did not suggest the Clippers rumor directly.
Things got even more out of hand when the Denver Nuggets apparently threw their hat into the ring for the Garnett sweepstakes. That team could not be a poorer fit for the future Hall of Famer, and Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post was quick to report that Garnett himself was not interested in heading to the Mile High City.
That all being said, to say that the Celtics will trade Garnett is absolutely ridiculous. The team may be No. 8 in the Eastern Conference but has managed to go 4-0 since star point guard Rajon Rondo tore his ACL. More importantly, the team ranks second-to-last in rebounding, and losing Jared Sullinger to back surgery leaves Garnett as the strongest interior presence.
Unless GM Danny Ainge has zero faith in this current roster and wants to start from scratch, Garnett is likely to stay put.
Bucks Looking to Deal Dalembert
The Milwaukee Bucks traded for Dalembert last summer in hopes that he would bring some great interior defense, but he has been a general disappointment. This season, the former Seton Hall Pirate has posted just 6.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 15.8 minutes per game, sharing time at the 5 with both Larry Sanders and Ekpe Udoh.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, GM John Hammond has put Dalembert on the trade block. However, people should not be so quick to assume that the man will be on a new team in the near future.
This is because Sanders recently suffered a back injury, and Milwaukee will be without sufficient size in the middle if Dalembert is dealt. Despite his shortcomings this season, he still has a great build for center at 6'11" and 250 pounds.
Milwaukee would also be wise to retain Dalembert for a couple of other reasons. First, he is still a better interior defender than Udoh, who has been nothing but a disappointment since being drafted sixth overall in 2010.
On top of that, the Bucks are a young team in need of a leader on defense. Dalembert may not be the ideal candidate, but he can fill this role perfectly. He is in his 11th NBA season and knows what it takes to get to the playoffs, having spent eight years with the Philadelphia 76ers.
He may not have much playoff experience under his belt, but consider that the Bucks would be the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference if the postseason started tomorrow. As solid a tandem Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings are, the lack of a leader in the paint would sink Milwaukee.
This makes Dalembert all the more valuable, no matter how many points, rebounds or blocks he averages per game. Hammond would be foolish to trade him and probably would not get much in return. Thus, Dalembert is going to be staying put.