Dwight Howard Delays Free Agency, Will Remain With Magic Next Season

The NBA trade deadline came and went, and in a shocker Dwight Howard waived his early termination option and committed to the Orlando Magic for the 2012-13 season. Other teams, however, made enormous moves.

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Sam Young Trade Sends Former Grizzlies' Forward To 76ers For Second-Round Pick

The first NBA deal on the day of the trade deadline isn't the most exciting one, but it does mean exciting things might be in store. The Memphis Grizzlies have reportedly decided to send forward Sam Young to the Philadelphia 76ers.

The deal is yet to be finalized, but the Philadelphia Daily News' Bob Cooney posted on his blog that the deal has been agreed upon, according to his sources.

With Evan Turner now in the starting lineup the backcourt reserves for 76ers coach Doug Collins became painfully small, with Lou Williams and Jodie Meeks manning most of the minutes.

So the Sixers decided to do something about that and acquired guard/forward Sam Young from the Memphis Grizzlies today, the Daily News has learned. The Sixers are expected to give up a second-round pick.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports the second round pick in question is Ricky Sanchez.

Young has never really been given a chance to make an impact with the Grizzlies since being selected in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft. He's been put even further on the backburner this season, however, as the former Pittsburgh standout is averaging just 3.5 points in less than 12 minutes per game this season.

For more on the Sixers, be sure to visit Liberty Ballers. For more on the Grizzlies, check out Straight Outta Vancouver. For all of the NBA trade deadline deals, stay tuned to SB Nation's comprehensive StoryStream.

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Magic Reportedly Told Dwight Howard To 'Sleep On' Decision To Stay

The Orlando Magic were gifted a 6'11, 240-pound Christmas goose when Dwight Howard declared late Thursday that he would waive his early termination option and remain under contract through the 2012-13 season. Magic executives were so full of glee, reports John Denton of team-run OrlandoMagic.com, that they met the squad at the airport at 3 a.m. Denton reports that Howard wanted to sign the ETO waiver right then and there.

The Magic told him to sleep on it.

Denton calls the move "classy." Others might call it "deluded," "naive" or "absolutely stupid in every possible way." Howard, you see, hasn't exactly shown a willingness to make a decision and stick with it over the last six months or so. He changed his mind on the ETO waiver three times on Wednesday alone, at least according to the reports that surfaced throughout the day. To be given a window to lock him in and tell him to sleep on it is akin to the horror flick killer who sabotages himself with a grand soliloquy while holding a knife to the protagonist's throat.

Stay tuned to find out whether the Magic executives who told Howard to sleep on it let their mark get away. The trade deadline is at 3 p.m. ET.

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NBA Trade Rumor Roundup: Deadline Deals Won't Include Dwight Howard, Likely To Include Lakers

NBA trade rumors have until 3 p.m. EST to remain relevant so Thursday's Trade Rumor Roundup might not have as long of a lifespan as it has since the inception of this column thanks to the afternoon trade deadline. There are still quite a few deals to get to, however -- even with Dwight Howard apparently deciding to stay with the Orlando Magic for one more season.

Howard made the decision late Wednesday night to opt-in to an extra season in his contract, effectively making all of the speculation of where he might go absolutely worthless. Unless one listens to SB Nation's Tom Ziller, however, as he's an advocate of the Magic trading Howard now that he has opted-in ... which would just create an awesome, fun mess for everyone involved. Our own Mike Prada looked at something similar on Wednesday, too, deciding to check in on the best places the Magic could trade Howard just out of spite.

All isn't lost for the trade fanatics in the world, however, as the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be one of the more active teams when it comes to deals at the NBA trade deadline.

The Lakers are reportedly getting very close to a deal that would put Michael Beasley and Metta World Peace on the same team, according to numerous reports. In the proposed three-team trade, the Lakers would send either Steve Blake or a first-round pick to the Portland Trail Blazers and the Minnesota Timberwolves would receive Jamal Crawford from the Blazers in return for trading Beasley.

There are sure to be quite a few rumors coming out following the publishing of this column so be sure to stay tuned to our StoryStream dedicated exclusively to the NBA trade deadline for up-to-date news and rumors. For now, though, a look back at what everyone might have missed while they were sleeping.

Do you love when basketball teams make moves? Great! Aside from our NBA trade rumors StoryStream, we have you covered with NBA trade deadline previews from around the league.

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Lakers Trade For Michael Beasley Still In Place, According To Report

The L.A. Lakers have not yet completed a three-team deal that would bring Michael Beasley to Hollywood, where he has always belonged, but reports indicate that the move will likely go down before Thursday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline. Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reports that it remains uncertain whether the Lakers will send veteran point guard Steve Blake or a first-round pick to the Portland Trail Blazers in the deal. The Blazers would send veteran guard Jamal Crawford to the Minnesota Timberwolves, with the Wolves pitching Beasley to L.A.

Ding reports that if the Lakers can convince the Blazers, in dire need of a point guard who cares a little bit more than Raymond Felton (which is to say at all), L.A. could then send its first-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Ramon Sessions.

Portland is in shambles, losing by 42 against the New York Knicks on Wednesday. The Knicks' head coach Mike D'Antoni had resigned earlier in the day, and New York was on a terrible losing streak coming in. The Wolves lost Ricky Rubio for the season last week, and have been completely overmatched at the shooting guard position, where Crawford can slot in, this season.

For more on the Lakers, visit Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles. For more on the Blazers, visit Blazer's Edge. For more on the Wolves, visit Canis Hoopus and SB Nation Minnesota.

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Dwight Howard Trade Saga Twists Again, As He Will Reportedly Waive 2012-13 Opt-Out After All

You're not going to believe this, but there's been another hiccup in the Dwight Howard trade saga. Early Thursday morning, just hours before the 3 p.m. NBA trade deadline, RealGM.com's Jarrod Rudolph reported that Howard had told him he would be signing a waiver of his early termination option. That would keep Howard under contract through the 2012-13 season, pushing his free agency to July 1, 2013.

Whether he would then remain with the Magic or be traded by Orlando for an extended rental before the deadline is unknown, though the former seems far more likely. There's also the possibility that Howard and the Magic front office agreed to this move in order to make a trade more tenable for one of Orlando's potential partners. The possibilities are plentiful at this point.

RealGM.com's Alex Kennedy followed Rudolph's report with confirmation and a suggestion that Howard could consider firing his agent Dan Fegan.

Stay tuned to all things Dwight on Orlando Pinstriped Post.

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Dwight Howard Trade Talks Between Magic, Nets Reportedly Back On

The Orlando Magic continue to discuss a Dwight Howard trade with the New Jersey Nets, reports ESPN's Marc Stein (via SB Nation's Orlando Pinstriped Post). Wednesday was a bit of a wild day in Dwight Howard Land, as the center reportedly first told the Magic that he'd waive his early termination option -- one he'd otherwise have been a lock to execute. That would have put Howard under contract through the 2012-13 season and delayed resolution on this whole mess for potentially another year.

But later in the day, the story changed, whether because the media previously had it wrong or because Howard changed his mind. Regardless, Howard now will not waive his opt-out, meaning Orlando has a few hours to deal the All-Star before risking losing him for nothing in July.

The Nets have been on the Dwight beat longer than anyone, and have the advantage of being Howard's most favored nation on account of having Deron Williams on the roster.

For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post. For more on the Nets, visit NetsDaily.

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NBA Trade Rumors: JaVale McGee Reportedly Available To A Good Home

The Washington Wizards are shopping center JaVale McGee but are looking for a strong return, reports Yahoo!'s Marc Spears. McGee is an interesting case as he'll be a restricted free agent on July 1, eligible for a fat new contract. While whichever team employs him on Friday -- once the trade deadline has passed -- will have the right of first refusal, it's expected that McGee's new annual salary will reach eight figures. The comparable DeAndre Jordan makes $11 million per season on average after his foray into restricted free agency in December; McGee is actually more productive.

If the Wizards are able to land an asset for McGee, it will have cut short one of the world's greatest comedy troupes, that being JaVale and the collective DVR brigade of the District of Columbia.

McGee is averaging career per-game bests in points (11.9), rebounds (8.8), blocks (2.5) and GIFs (∞).

For more on the Wizards, visit Bullets Forever and SB Nation D.C.

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NBA Trade Rumor Roundup: Carmelo Anthony Wants Out, Dwight Howard Wants To Stay

The NBA trade rumors only have one day left to be relevant considering Thursday is the trade deadline, but the rumor mongerers have been out on the Internet in full force since Tuesday's version of our NBA Trade Rumor Roundup. More superstars are saying more things, random players are being discussed by random teams and the first actual trade has even taken place.

That means Monta Ellis and Andrew Bogut will no longer be eligible to be included in this space, but that's all right because New York Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony has decided he wants to join in the fun! 'Melo was apparently disappointed that Fab Melo was the leading "Melo" in the news on Tuesday so he let it leak that he's ready to move out of the bright lights in the Big Apple.

The above link, based off a report in the New York Post, paints a drastically different portrait of the relationship between Anthony and Jeremy Lin when compared to the column posted Wednesday morning on ESPN.com.

When Anthony first returned -- and it still appears to be the case -- Lin would bring the ball upcourt and try to run D'Antoni's system. When Anthony would abandon the offense, Lin would not pass him the ball, which irritated Anthony, sources said. So when Lin tried to talk to Anthony on the court, Anthony would turn his back to the point guard and tune him out. The two never had heated exchanges, though, and the players tried to come to a compromise, agreeing to run D'Antoni's system while also mixing in post-ups for Anthony.

That situation should be interesting to follow for the next 24 hours, but Melo isn't the only All-Star to change his mind regarding the trade deadline. Dwight Howard is of course still in the news, but the Orlando Magic supermanstar has now decided he does not want to be traded. The following comes from CBS Sports' Ken Berger:

After posting 24 points and 25 rebounds in a 104-98 overtime victory over Miami Tuesday night -- Orlando's second victory in three games against the Heat this season -- Howard told reporters he's informed Magic management he wants to finish the season in Orlando. The Magic, Howard said after the game, must now "roll the dice" that he'll opt out and return to Orlando as a free agent.

"I told those guys and I've been telling them for the past two or three weeks now that I'm going to stay and finish the season," Howard said.

That decision isn't exactly his, however -- and it probably makes the Orlando front office a bit weary that their top player wants them to "roll the dice" and possibly get nothing in return for their franchise's centerpiece. For more on the feelings from the front office, be sure to read Tom Ziller's informative piece entitled "Magic Officials 'Disgusted' With Dwight Howard, Whose Toes They Would Probably Lick."

Now that the two big names are out of the way, our readers are probably asking what else is happening around the league. Well here's the answer:

Do you love when basketball teams make moves? Great! Aside from our NBA trade rumors StoryStream, we have you covered with NBA trade deadline previews from around the league.

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NBA Trade Rumors: Bucks Reportedly Keeping Brandon Jennings

Before trading Andrew Bogut for Monta Ellis on Tuesday, the Milwaukee Bucks had a deal involving point guard Brandon Jennings in place, according to SI.com's Sam Amick. But the Bucks have apparently since taken Jennings off the trade market, and will play him alongside Ellis, the incoming dynamic scorer who should do well to take pressure off the young point guard.

Amick reports that the New Orleans Hornets were pushing hard to land Jennings, hoping to pair him with shooting guard Eric Gordon. The Hornets currently have veteran Jarrett Jack and young Greivis Vasquez at point guard after trading Chris Paul to the L.A. Clippers in December.

It doesn't appear, however, that the Bucks' Jennings deal was with the Hornets. New Orleans does have two first-round picks, at least one of which (their own) will almost certainly land in the top six. The Hornets also hold the rights to the Minnesota Timberwolves' pick, gained in the CP3 deal. The Bucks have their own 2012 first-round pick and the Celtics' second-round pick.

For more on the Bucks, visit Brew Hoop.

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Dwight Howard Trade In Question After Center Comments On Finishing Season With Magic

As the NBA trade deadline approaches, the fate of Dwight Howard remains in total limbo. The All-Star center himself hasn't helped matters, saying Tuesday that he has been telling the Orlando Magic for the past couple of weeks that he wishes to play out the season with the club that made him the No. 1 pick in the 2004 draft.

If the Magic did let the deadline pass without dealing Howard, he would be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He has a $19.5 million salary on the books for next season, but he's almost assured of using his early termination option to sign a new deal.

A Tuesday morning report said that Howard plans to join the Brooklyn Nets before the 2012-13 season no matter what happens at the deadline. Deron Williams, the Nets' star, can also become a free agent in July.

Keep tabs of all of the Dwight Howard rumors at Orlando Pinstriped Post and NetsDaily.


Dan Rubenstein and Lang Whitaker on Dwight Howard's future:

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Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Magic Center Determined To Sign With Nets In Summer

Dwight Howard may be saying all the right things about wanting to stay with the Orlando Magic, but behind the scenes he's biding his time for a move to the New Jersey Nets once they move to Brooklyn, according to a report in Yahoo! Sports. The Magic star has been giving the distinct impression that he'd be open to signing an extension if there were a strong supporting cast around him, but that may only be only out of a desire to avoid confrontation.

"Dwight’s gone, and [Magic CEO] Alex Martins is the only person who doesn’t believe that," a league source with knowledge of Howard’s intentions told Yahoo! Sports.

One such trade that has been widely discussed is one that would involve the Milwaukee Bucks and the Golden State Warriors. In that scenario, the Magic would end up with Monta Ellis and the Warriors would receive Andrew Bogut. But that deal is apparently under the assumption that the Magic would also accept Stephen Jackson's $10 million salary, something they'd only want to do if it assured them of keeping Howard.

Howard is also apparently reluctant to accept a trade to the Nets now, as it would require them giving up assets he would want to be there once he is.

For more on Howard's situation, be sure to check out Magic blog Orlando Pinstriped Post.

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NBA Trade Rumor Roundup: Andrew Bogut And Monta Ellis Deal Hinges On Dwight Howard

NBA trade rumors are certainly becoming more rampant as Thursday's deadline creeps ever closer, but some of the deals being strewn about are being denied just as soon as they're posted on the Twitter accounts of random reporters. There were a few new ones that have stuck since Monday morning's column, however, so let's get it started.

The newest credible rumors involve Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut and Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis but, like everything else as of late, that trade seems to hinge on the Orlando Magic's decision on what to do with Dwight Howard. Ken Berger of CBS Sports posted more on this rumored move early Tuesday morning.

The Warriors are discussing ways to acquire center Andrew Bogut from Milwaukee as part of a complicated, three-team proposal that would send Monta Ellis to Orlando, multiple league sources told CBSSports.com.

The Warriors would get Bogut from the Bucks and send Ellis to Orlando as part of the Magic's efforts to persuade Dwight Howard that they are prepared to continue surrounding him with top-flight talent. The Magic are exploring multiple scenarios to upgrade their roster in the hopes that Howard would then relent on his strategy to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

All of that is a mess on the Magic side of the equation, but SB Nation's own Tom Ziller put together a handy FAQ on the Dwight Howard trade rumors. As far as the remaining pieces are concerned, Dan Sinclair over at SB Nation's Brew Hoop did an excellent job summing up everything surrounding Bogut while our Houston Rockets blog wrote quite a bit about Bogut on Monday -- but that was apparently all for naught as those rumors were shut down for the time being.

Speaking of the Bucks and rejected trade rumors, Brandon Jennings was also bandied about on Monday, but Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports shut those talks down in a hurry.

Now that we've waded through the Dwight Howard trade rumors, the rest of the roundup should be a breeze.

Do you love when basketball teams make moves? Great! Aside from our NBA trade rumors StoryStream, we have you covered with NBA trade deadline previews from around the league.

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Rockets, Warriors Attempting To Trade For Andrew Bogut, According To Report

Andrew Bogut isn't making an impact on the court due to a fractured ankle. But his name is becoming more active in NBA trade rumors as the Thursday deadline approaches. CBS Sports' Ken Berger reports that the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets are both in play for the Australian center, who in 2005 was the No. 1 pick in the draft.

The Warriors would deal Monta Ellis to the Orlando Magic in a deal for Bogut, according to Berger. One can only assume Stephen Jackson, Milwaukee's problem contract right now, would also move to the Magic -- he and Dwight Howard have expressed mutual appreciation recently. Milwaukee would likely get a prospect from Golden State and a fat contract from Orlando to make up for Jackson. Such a deal would depend on Howard sticking with Orlando through the deadline, of course.

Berger reports that a Rockets deal would be more straightforward, with Houston landing the center in exchange for Samuel Dalembert, Courtney Lee and picks.

For more on Bogut and the Bucks, visit BrewHoop.

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NBA Trade Rumor Roundup: Lakers Discussed Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard To The Bulls?

NBA trade rumors are likely going to heat up considering the deadline for teams to make a deal comes on Thursday, but the weekend was relatively low key regarding new names in the rumor mill. The same trades are still out there, it seems, but maybe everyone was right when they said Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard essentially controls the trade deadline.

Howard doesn't look like he'll be moved by March 15, but that's partially his fault -- despite requesting a trade -- considering he apparently won't make a long-term commitment to the Chicago Bulls. Ken Berger of CBS Sports reports that deal between the two teams would send Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Omer Asik, along with a first-round pick, to the Magic for Howard and Hedo Turkoglu -- but the deal isn't likely to go through.

Such a scenario has gained no traction since Chicago is "not on his list," a person familiar with the situation said of Howard. Without assurances from Howard or his camp that he'd be willing to sign long-term with the Bulls, Chicago executives have exhibited no appetite for trade talks with the Magic. The two teams have spoken, but there's "no type of serious discussions" going on, a person familiar with the situation said.

Now that the daily Howard rumor is out of the way, the hot new rumor involves the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers discussing a trade that would send Rajon Rondo to the west coast. The deal was apparently structured around trading the Celtics' young point guard for Pau Gasol, the big man the Celtics so desperately need, but apparently reached a hang up when the Lakers wouldn't include the Spaniard.

CelticsBlog's Jeff Clark is just fine that his team didn't ship Rondo out, it seems:

It is worth noting that this source is the L.A. Times and the source is clearly someone from the Lakers organization (or at least someone with a Laker-centric mindset). They would obviously have a different agenda than the Celtics sources would so this is being spun a different way. So it kind of depends on who you believe.

Regardless, the reports all seem to point to no deal between the two clubs. Which, despite our need for size, is fine by me as we've discussed at length before.

Before getting into the rest of Monday morning's rumor roundup, let's recap what was missed since our last trade rumor roundup (copyright pending): The Milwaukee Bucks placed Andrew Bogut on the trading block, Chris Kaman might get a new contract from the New Orleans Hornets (or be traded or bought out or everything LOL), Pau Gasol was rumored to be traded Friday night in a deal that still hasn't happened and the Washington Wizards are working on moving Andray Blatche and Javale McGee.

And now, what everyone was waiting for:

Do you love when basketball teams make moves? Great! Aside from our NBA trade rumors StoryStream, we have you covered with NBA trade deadline previews from around the league.

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NBA Trade Rumors: Antawn Jamison Wishes To Stay With Cavaliers, According To Report

You would think that the Cleveland Cavaliers, a rebuilding team a few games out of the playoff race and in need of adding another young piece or two to Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, would be ready to deal veteran Antawn Jamison to a contender at the deadline. Jamison has averaged 18 points and almost seven rebounds this season, teaming with presumptive Rookie of the Year Irving to form a potent duo.

It appears that this tag-team will continue to operate through the end of the season, as Bob Finnan of The News Herald in northern Ohio reports that Jamison has not requested a trade and that Cleveland does not plan to move him (via HoopsHype).

Jamison is making $15 million this season, so it would have been difficult to move him regardless considering that it's unlikely any team chasing him would have long-term salary that Cleveland would actually want. Finnan also reports that the team has no plans of buying out Jamison's contract after March 15 so that he could sign a deal for the rest of the season with a contender.

For more on the Cavaliers, visit Fear The Sword and SB Nation Cleveland.

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NBA Trade Rumor Roundup: Orlando Magic Want Quite A Bit For Dwight Howard

The NBA trade rumors are still revolving around Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic with less than a week left until the trade deadline, which is surprising on a couple of fronts. The fact that an entirely different rumor can pop up every day is simply astounding, but when compounded with the rumors that Howard might not even be traded, this could all be an exercise in futility.

Regardless, the final trade rumor roundup before the weekend begins comes with another report from CBS Sports scribe Ken Berger. When Berger digs into something, he gets great details ... and when he dug into the Dwight Howard trade rumors, Berger found out exactly what the Magic are hoping to receive in return for a superstar at the beginning of his prime.

Magic executives have continued to tell teams this week they do not intend to trade Dwight Howard, but several teams came away from the conversations with a clear picture of what the club wants if it changes course: a replica of the deal Denver pulled off last February for Carmelo Anthony, multiple league sources told CBSSports.com Thursday.

What Orlando is seeking if it makes a deal for the All-Star center is a package similar to what the Nuggets received for Anthony at the 2011 trade deadline: multiple good, young players and draft picks. Orlando executives view the Denver model as a middle ground between blowing up a contender and starting over with draft picks and reaching for veteran All-Stars whose contracts ultimately could hinder the recovery from a Howard trade.

The Nuggets are currently 22-18 this season even though a couple of the key pieces they received in return for Anthony -- Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler -- have missed the majority (or all, in the case of the returning from China Chandler) of the season. It makes sense then that the Magic would like to get solid pieces back while not blowing up their core considering how good Denver could be at full strength, huh?

In other news involving Howard, since the trade deadline apparently revolves around him, the Magic have been pursuing a couple of other deals that weren't met with positivity on the other end of the phone.

The Magic apparently talked to the Oklahoma City Thunder about a deal that would net them Serge Ibaka and James Harden, according to Brian Schmitz, but OKC declined the rental opportunity. Howard paired with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook would have been amazing though.

A different opportunity is brought up in the Berger column, too, which will transition us nicely to the remainder of the trade rumors.

But a more serious contender could emerge in the coming days: the Hawks, who are dealing with disgruntled should-be All-Star Josh Smith's own reported trade request. Smith and Al Horford would represent a coup for the Magic considering the alternative of losing Howard for nothing, and Atlanta is Howard's hometown, where he attended Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy. Even with the potential of getting - and keeping - a player of Howard's popularity and impact, questions remain about whether the Atlanta ownership group would be able to afford two max players going forward. Joe Johnson is owed $90 million over the next four years.

As friend of SB Nation Jay-Z might say, I'm on to the next one (and all of the rest of them, too):

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NBA Trade Rumors 2012: Boston Celtics Open To Dealing Paul Pierce, According To Report

The Boston Celtics are likely to be involved in many NBA trade rumors as we approach Thursday's trade deadline, as they seem to be setting up for a rebuilding effort this summer. The Celtics continue to be a playoff team, but they also have very few players under contract past this year. One exception is star Paul Pierce, and the Celtics appear willing to even move him to open up even more cap room.

Ken Berger of CBS Sports reports:

The Celtics are prepared to entertain offers for Paul Pierce, whose subtraction from the Boston core would be the most advantageous to the post-Big Three rebuilding effort given his age (34) and the $32 million he's owed over the next two seasons. And for those same reasons, he'll be the most difficult of Boston's top four players to move.

Berger also reports that the Celtics have fielded offers for Ray Allen, with the Clippers the leader for his services. As for Rajon Rondo, Berger reports that the Celtics will listen to offers, but won't deal him unless they are "blown away."

For more on the Celtics, visit CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston.

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NBA Trade Rumors 2012: Josh Smith Asks Hawks To Trade Him By Deadline, According To Report

The Atlanta Hawks are right in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, thanks in large part to the play of forward Josh Smith. However, the talented forward doesn't seem to be too enamored with playing for the franchise. Smith has told the Hawks that he would like to be traded before the NBA Trade Deadline on March 15, according to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The reasons for Smith's reported trade request are numerous. In the past, Smith has reportedly felt singled out by coaches and media members for his mistakes. Now, Cunningham reports that Smith is not happy that the Hawks didn't promote him to be an All-Star and doesn't believe the franchise is fully committed to winning.

Cunningham reports that the Hawks have not yet begun actively shopping Smith, though they do take plenty of calls. Smith is averaging 17.1 points and 9.8 rebounds per game this year, helping the Hawks to a 23-16 record despite a season-ending injury to Al Horford and nagging injuries to Joe Johnson.

For more on the Hawks, visit Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.

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NBA Trade Rumor Roundup: Dwight Howard Seems To Control The Trade Deadline

The NBA trade rumors are heating up, which is no surprise considering the March 15 trade deadline is now just one week away. The weird part is that it seems Dwight Howard is controlling everything, making most teams play the 'will he or won't he' game while waiting on a decision from the Orlando Magic's All-Star center.

There's obviously an end in sight due to the trade deadline next Thursday, but CBS Sports' Ken Berger did excellent work while trying to shed some light on exactly what's going on regarding any sort of Howard transaction. While Berger's column is certainly worth reading, SB Nation's NetsDaily summed it up quite well in a paragraph.

Ken Berger takes a long look Thursday at one of the factors that makes Brooklyn so attractive to Dwight Howard: the potential for global exposure and the money that goes with playing in a big market with another star. Berger doesn't quantify the financial advantage Howard would get in moving from Central Florida to New York City, but he does discuss how much Deron Williams and Chris Paul have made moving from small markets to New York and L.A.

While making money is obviously a huge factor in any decision, despite what anyone's heart supposedly says, NBA.com's crew of writers indicate that there's no easy way for Howard to approach the current dealings. Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports takes it one step further, intimating that Howard might be leading NBA fans toward the worst NBA trade deadline ever.

There are, of course, (a few) things happening that don't revolve around Howard, however, since our last look at the NBA trade rumors.

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NBA Trade Rumor Roundup: Nets Are Not Talking To Magic About Dwight Howard?

In a move that probably isn't all that surprising, the most recent NBA trade rumors continue to deal with the same teams and players, even as the NBA trade deadline looms. That isn't such a bad thing, however, because it seems everyone has a different source when it comes to the biggest names on the trading block.

Dwight Howard has asked for a trade from the Orlando Magic, and while the New Jersey Nets seem to be his most likely destination, the Magic are reportedly resisting said talks ... and New Jersey isn't initiating the conversation, either, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski (via NetsDaily).

Yes, the Nets are still Howard's desired destination, but GM Billy King still hasn't had a substantive conversation with Smith lately. Orlando has made it clear to everyone that it's a buyer to find help for Howard, not a seller. Yet, most teams believe the Magic will eventually realize they simply don't have the assets to bring back a significant player to join Howard. Several executives insist forward Ryan Anderson has the most value to teams, and the Magic are determined to re-sign him to a long-term deal.

That's an interesting report, too, considering Billy King -- the man pulling the strings in New Jersey -- told the Star-Ledger on Tuesday that he plans to be active as the trade deadline approaches. King doesn't seem to be interested in actively trading away an injured Brook Lopez, though.

"We have flexibility cap-wise,'' King continued. "But at the end of the day, I want a healthy Brook Lopez and (don't want to) worry about making trades at this point in regards of moving Brook Lopez. It's about trying to add to this team.''

King said he will "look at other things that I was already talking about doing with other teams'' before the deadline.

"I had some things on the table that I'm exploring that will maybe create more cap space for us in the future -- maybe bring some more players or some key pieces as we go forward,'' he said.

The rest of the rumors aren't quite as juicy, but SB Nation's resident team of basketball sleuths did a pretty good job rounding up the best rumors out there on a lovely hump day morning.

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NBA Trade Rumor Roundup: Will Dwight Howard Be Moved?

The NBA trade rumors weren't quite as rampant on Monday as some would expect, considering the deadline is looming ever closer, but there were still plenty of deals discussed on the first day of the week before deadline week. There were a few new names that popped up, too, but the usual players were discussed for the most part.

The biggest name is Dwight Howard, of course, which was brought back to the forefront following the new news on the Brook Lopez injury. The New Jersey Nets aren't the only team interested in the Orlando Magic superstar, however, as the links below will show.

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NBA Trade Rumor Roundup: Many Moves Were Discussed Over The Weekend

The NBA trade rumors were flowing fast and furious over the weekend, and with just 10 days left until the trade deadline, things will likely continue to heat up right through March 15. The big names discussed this weekend were primarily Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo, but it sounds like quite a few teams have discussed making some sort of move to improve their team by picking up someone else's castoff.

Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick put together an excellent column highlighting quite a few moves, mostly revolving around the many options the Los Angeles Lakers are looking at in hopes of improving their roster. Aside from SI's Amick, however, quite a few of our team blogs also looked at potential deals that have been discussed around the internet.

As the headline suggests, below is your Monday morning trade rumor roundup!

Apart from those deals involving the bigger names currently finding themselves on the trading block, there are a couple of more minor players our team bloggers are talking about, too.

Be sure to check out professional basketball news from around the league over at SB Nation's NBA page.

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Lakers Trade Rumors Won't Be Quieted By Pau Gasol

Faced with continued trade rumors involving Pau Gasol, the Los Angeles Lakers can expect those to keep going so long as the Spaniard big man declines to get shy about his status. Gasol told ESPN's Marc Stein this week that he has received only some clarification from the Lakers front office as to his status going forward. In other words: he's not convinced that he'll be a Laker on March 16, once the NBA trade deadline passes.

From Stein:

Sources say that the Houston Rockets remain adamant that they won't surrender Kyle Lowry for Gasol, no matter how much they like the big man, but it's likewise still true that L.A. lusts for an elite point guard to pair with Bryant and has made it known around the league that it's willing to surrender Gasol to get one.

Elite point guards don't exactly grow on trees, and Gasol is on the wrong side of 30, so try as L.A. might, this could be a tough deal to close. The Lakers have a bit less than two weeks left.

For more on the Lakers, visit Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles.

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Dwight Howard Trade Rumor Involves Lakers, Raptors

NBA All-Star weekend is complete after the basketball world was put on hold for a fun three days in Orlando; unsurprisingly, the Dwight Howard trade rumors didn't take a break. The newest possibility apparently involves the Magic receiving Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Jose Calderon in a three-team trade involving the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors.

Howard doesn't have the Raptors on his list of potential destinations, but they could be a facilitator to his trade, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

It goes something like this: The Magic send Howard, SF Hedo Turkoglu and Nelson to the Lakers; the Magic receive Bynum and Gasol. The salaries are close to matching up, making the deal work.

A third team, the Toronto Raptors, could be part of the deal or in a separate trade with the Magic, sending PG José Calderon to Orlando.

That rumor is obviously missing some pieces as it doesn't list the Raptors as receiving anything in return for Calderon, but it might be the best case scenario for a team that likely needs to make a trade regardless. It's unlikely all three teams would agree to those parameters, but it's trade rumor season. Anything goes!

For more on the Magic, check out Orlando Pinstriped Post. For more on the Lakers, head over to Los Angeles Lakers blog Silver Screen and Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles.

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NBA Trade Rumors: Nets Working On Dwight Howard Trade Options

The New Jersey Nets are working on potential multi-team Dwight Howard trade options even though the Orlando Magic have not yet signaled that the team will trade the All-Star center before the league's March 15 trade deadline, reports Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix (via NetsDaily). The Nets received permission to speak with Howard about trade possibilities earlier this season, and are considered to be one of the few teams that the center would prefer to be traded to.

But the question remains as to whether the Nets have the assets to pull it off after mortgaging a good portion of the franchise's future to land Deron Williams a year ago. Brook Lopez is considered to be the centerpiece of any Nets' package; Lopez made his season debut last weekend after a preseason injury that required surgery kept him out of the team's first 32 games. The Nets would need to rely on their status as a preferred destination for Howard to gain favor from Orlando.

For more on the Nets, check out NetsDaily.

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NBA Rumors: Nets Looking For A Small Forward, Might Sign Renaldo Balkman

The New Jersey Nets desperately need help at small forward. According to 82games.com's matchup data, the team's performance at small forward and center has been atrocious. Center Brook Lopez is expected to make his season debut on Sunday, which should help up front by dropping Shelden Williams and Johan Petro back in the rotation. The answer at small forward is less clear.

Fred Kerber of the New York Post reports that the Nets have been outscored 500-188 at the starting small forward spot this season, and as such are looking at potentially picking up Renaldo Balkman, who was waived by the New York Knicks this week to make room for J.R. Smith. Balkman, who has bounced between the Knicks and Denver Nuggets over his short career, is primarily a defender, like the man he'd replace (DeShawn Stevenson).

It's unclear if the Nets will look for help at the position in the trade market or if Dwight Howard remains the sole target. If New Jersey needs to take back salary cap fluff to land Howard, Hedo Turkoglu would actually be a massive upgrade at small forward despite being massively overpaid.

For more on New Jersey, visit NetsDaily.

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