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):
- Josh Smith asked to be traded from the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, as we wrote, but the frustration has apparently been festering for quite awhile. Kris Willis from Peachtree Hoops brings us some analysis revolving around a rumor that says Smith originally asked for a trade in February.
- Another superstar was added to the trading block since the last trade rumors roundup was published, too, as the Boston Celtics are reportedly willing to trade Ray Allen. SB Nation's Celtics Blog has more on the story, though, quoting Danny Ainge's thoughts on moves his team might make.
- Sactown Royalty did an amazing two-part series on trades that could happen, breaking it into Eastern Conference trades and Western Conference trades.
- Two SB Nation NBA bloggers got together and did a video interview regarding a fourth superstar's availability when Bright Side of the Sun's Seth Pollack joined Blazer's Edge to talk about the Steve Nash trade rumors. If anyone ever wondered what bloggers look like in their
parent'sbasement, Pollack answers that question, too.
- In related news, the Portland Trail Blazers might end up dealing the rights to an unhappy Patty Mills. Remember Patty Mills? Oh, moving on then ...
- The Los Angeles Clippers are on the prowl for a shooting guard, and taking things into his own hands, Steve Perrin from Clips Nation decided to propose some trades to a few others from SB Nation. Think any of them would work outside the blogosphere?
- Indy Cornrows looked at the possibility of the Indiana Pacers trading for Jamal Crawford and came away with a likely conclusion: he probably isn't worth a first round pick and a point guard.
- The always excellent Michael Levin did some analysis over at Liberty Ballers, featuring rumors swirling around the Philadelphia 76ers as the trade deadline approaches.
- Grantland's Bill Simmons posted his annual trade value column if anyone is interested, by the way.
Do you love when basketball teams make moves? Great! We have you covered with NBA trade deadline previews from around the league.