It’s no secret that Dwight Howard wants to leave Orlando, but it doesn’t seem like he wants to follow Shaquille O’Neal’s footsteps and go to the Lakers.
Popular Los Angeles radio host John Ireland reported that if Howard would be traded to the Lakers, likely for at least Andrew Bynum and possibly Pau Gasol as well, that he would not agree to a contract extension upon the completion of a deal. The Lakers would have until the end of the season to convince Howard to re-sign him long term.
Regardless of the Howard situation, the Lakers will go after a point guard over the next two weeks. Ramon Sessions of Cleveland and Raymond Felton of Portland are the two most likely candidates to head over to Los Angeles, especially with the $8.9 million trade exception they got in the Lamar Odom deal.
There have been plenty of rumors circulating around Steve Nash over the past few months, but Marc Stein’s ESPN.com piece not only sums up the entire situation as well, but brings in a couple of new angles for discussion.
Of course, Phoenix may not trade Nash at all before the March 15 trade deadline in hopes of convincing him to stay on a two-year contract. No trade would also allow him to leave as a free agent for nothing, where teams like the Knicks and Mavericks (as a Plan B in case they don’t land Dwight Howard and Deron Williams) would love to snatch him away from the Suns. As a native of Canada, going home to spend the rest of his career with the Raptors would make a lot of sense as well.
Rather than just let Nash walk, however, Stein reports that the Suns are actively listening to offers for Nash. Orlando has interest in bringing him in to make a last ditch run at a championship with Howard and there is mutual interest between Nash and Portland, which is very close to Nash’s British Columbian roots. On the other hand, Phoenix may not trade Nash unless he asks, even if the Blazers offer up a significant piece like upcoming restricted free agent Nicolas Batum.
Celtics Breaking Up Big Three?
On NBC Sports Talk yesterday, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowksi said that Boston would definitely break up the Big Three of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. They’d deal any one of those players if it helps them going forward, Wojnarowki said, and GM Danny Ainge and coach Doc Rivers have made up their minds and said that this team is not a championship contender this year.
The most shocking part of the short video segment was that Wojanrowki felt that Pierce is the most likely Celtic to get traded because he has years left on his contract, while Allen and Garnett have contracts that expire at the end of the season.
Monta Madness For Warriors
Golden State G Monta Ellis has been the subject of numerous trade rumors over the past 24 hours. There has been talk that the Warriors would send Ellis to the Nets for Brook Lopez, but Golden State would want more than that. In fact, Tim Kawakami reports that the only way the Warriors would trade Ellis is if it was in a trade for Howard, even though Howard has no interest in the Bay Area.
Chris Mannix of SI reports that Golden State “must have a ton of confidence” that they could sell Howard on the Bay Area, otherwise they would not be pursuing Howard to vigorously. The Warriors are so confident that they’d be willing to trade whatever it takes to get Howard without the assurance of a contract for 2013, according to Zach Lowe of SI. Despite all the rumors and the talk, Mannix says that Howard’s preferred destination is still the Nets, especially since Howard would not sign an extension with the Lakers this year, as John Ireland reports.
Another rumor that got passed around on Tuesday was a Monta Ellis trade to Chicago for Luol Deng. Tim Kawakami reports that officials from both sides like the deal, but the Bulls would ultimately not pull the trigger on such a deal.
Jazz Making Moves?
Utah is a developing team with a large glut of big men, but the team would be willing to trade Devin Harris and C.J. Miles before the deadline, says the Salt Lake Tribune. There is still no urgency to deal Paul Millsap or Al Jefferson as of now.
More Odom Buyout Talk
Despite numerous articles reporting the contrary, Raj Prashad of HoopsAuthority reports that Lamar Odom is indeed seeking a buyout from the Mavericks and that the Celtics and Nets would be his preferred landing spots. Odom, if he regains his consistency, would be a huge addition to a thin Boston frontcourt and the New York market would be good for Odom and his wife Khloe’s television and entertainment ventures (snicker all you want, but people watch them and they make money).
Chandler To Raps Unlikely
The deadline to extend an offer sheet to Wilson Chandler is Thursday, and it does not seem like the Raptors will be doing that. They’ve tried to move the contract to Leandro Barbosa, but it seems like Chandler will either re-sign long term in Denver or play in Europe the rest of the season. Toronto has gotten offers for Barbosa and Jose Calderson, but nothing they like just yet.
Did you miss it? Right there, it just flew by. Yeah, that was the trade deadline, it’s gone…in case you didn’t notice.
But why would you? Unless you were glued to a Twitter list of NHL analysts and personalities you probably were more excited by your work or chemistry lab or Chinese water torture.
All jokes aide, there were some exciting moments during yesterday’s NHL trade deadline. While it’s safe to assume that the best of the day came after the 3 pm EST deadline, some hockey clubs got their man and are now looking forward to the final playoff push.
Ok, so let’s see who impressed and who embarrassed overall in the trade deadline.
Nashville Predators: hands down this is one of the best/upcoming teams in the NHL in the last few years, and arguably one of the best expansion teams in all of sports in recent memory. Overall in February the Preds made three trades, including two solid ones yesterday:
***D Hal Gill from Montreal for Blake Geoffrion and a 2nd rounder – There was more to this trade, but these are the pieces that matter. A prospect and a second round pick for a BIG defender that will definitely help this the top defense tandem relax during the playoffs. Win.
***F Andrei Kostitsyn from Montreal for two 2013 picks – Another deal with the Habs brought the second Kostitsyn brother to Nashville to give them a Sedin-style feeling in Music City. Gaining a solid forward who can enjoy playing with his brother for two picks next year – neither of which were first round?? Win.
***F Paul Gaustad and a 2013 pick from Buffalo for a 1st round pick this year – This might have been the biggest deal of deadline day. Gaustad is a solid forward who will help bolster the depth of the Preds’ lineup. Sure it was tough to give up a first round pick, but it’s not like the Preds will be drafting in the top 10 anyway so this is a great move for the team. Win.
Boston Bruins: the Bruins are already a very strong team, and they didn’t do much to mess up their lineup, which is always a plus when you’re winning. They managed to acquire three solid depth players in D Greg Zanon, F Brian Rolston and D Mike Mottau while giving up next to nothing in some prospects. Boston now has three experienced players to add to their lineup in hopes of repeating their Stanley Cup victory from last season.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Leafs Nation was hoping all day long that the club would pick up a big-name star (or two…or three) and a goalie, but they ended up with a solid young forward and defensive prospect. In picking up Carter Ashton from the Lightning, Toronto added a solid third-line forward for their playoff push and sent away Keith Aulie who was, for lack of a better word, expendable. Sometimes the best trade is the one you don’t make, right? GM Brian Burke is hoping his current team with Ashton is a playoff team and that more deals can be made in June if need be.
San Jose Sharks: There was some serious speculation about big names being shipped out of San Jose, but the they stayed put. The Sharks managed to add some depth in a big deal with the Avalanche in picking up F Daniel Winnik and F T.J. Galiardi. The Sharks are already a playoff team and they’re hoping these guys will help give them the depth they need for a long postseason run.
Columbus Blue Jackets: More specifically, a losing grade to their GM Scott Howson. They lost Jeff Carter last week, then Samuel Pahlsson yesterday for two 4th-round picks AND couldn’t ship out captain Rick Nash for the king’s ransom they were hoping for. Then, after all that, Howson threw Nash under the bus saying Nash requested the trade and made it public how frustrated the star was in Ohio. Real classy. So now the team has a disgruntled star who will for sure be gone in the off-season, and a young defender who is still unproven. Good job guys.
Washington Capitals: The Caps are a strong team and have been perennial playoff contenders for a long time now. Right now they’re clawing at a playoff spot and only made two minor moves all month? That’s not going to cut it for this team that has been struggling offensively this year.
Now it’s time for the rumors to be done with and for the real season to begin. The fans can now only hope their teams made the right moves, or held back from making bad ones.
Do you think anyone else won or lost in yesterday’s trade deadline? Let’s hear it.
Nets Remain Favorites For Howard
Many things have changed in the world since December, but Dwight Howard’s stance on where he wants to go has not. The Lakers and Mavericks are still on Howard’s trade wish list, but Sam Amick says he still wants to go to New Jersey.
He wants to leverage the Brooklyn market and get the international influence he’d get by playing for New Jersey’s Russian billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov. He wants to “be Kobe Bryant, not be with Kobe Bryant.” The Magic would still like to get Andrew Bynum from Los Angeles, but Howard’s stance on the Lakers may prevent that. Of course if the Nets can’t get Howard, Dallas would be very interested in dealing for Deron Williams. Avery Johnson knows that Dallas could easily steal Williams away from the Nets.
Lakers Looking To Make Moves
Los Angeles would obviously love to acquire Howard, but they also really need a point guard. Pau Gasol is the most likely Laker to go, says Peter Vescey, but if Howard changes his mind about going to the Lakers then Bynum would get dealt and Jameer Nelson would head to LA.
Another point guard the Lakers like is Ramon Sessions of Cleveland. The Cavs have cap space, so they can take on contracts in order to get extra draft picks. Los Angeles also has an $8.9 million trade exception and have interest in Michael Beasley of Minnesota along with point guards Kyle Lowry of Houston (we know the Rockets covet Gasol) and Raymond Felton of Portland.
Vescey’s Extra Points
-There’s also talk of the Magic, Nets and Warriors and a megadeal involving Howard going to the Nets, Brook Lopez going to the Warriors and Monta Ellis among those going to the Warriors. Golden State also has interest in New Orleans’ Chris Kaman.
-Toronto is trying to move Leandro Barbosa’s contract to try to sign Wilson Chandler to an offer sheet.
-Boston and New Jersey are also interested in Beasley, who Minnesota would like to move.
Dallas Still On Board With Odom
There is no timetable for Lamar Odom’s return as he spends time with his ailing father, and a buyout has even been rumored. The buyout won’t happen and Dallas is committed to seeing things through. Odom, Shawn Marion and even Jason Kidd have been mentioned in rumors recently.
-Washington is still trying to move Andray Blatche after the Bobcats declined a trade that would have sent Tyrus Thomas to the Wizards a few weeks ago. There does not seem to be much interest.
-New Orleans has signed F Lance Thomas for the rest of the season.