Over the course of this entire season, the Orlando Magic have been front and center as it applies to any and all trade rumors. With a day to go before the deadline – it’s time for them to make a decision on Dwight Howard.
The Miami Heat, arguably the best team in the Eastern Conference, could probably use a little trade to plug some holes, but it doesn’t look like there’s one out there for them. The Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Bobcats and Washington Wizards each have pieces that other teams might covet, however, at the moment it doesn’t appear as though there is a deal coming for any of them.
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Boris Diaw is drawing interest from various teams around the league. According to the Charlotte Observer, the New Jersey Nets want his $9 million expiring contract and would be willing to give up a first rounder, as well as Johan Petro and Jordan Farmar to obtain it. Meanwhile, Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs reportedly told French radio (via Rotoworld) that Diaw is getting a look from the New York Knicks.
The Observer is also reporting that the Portland Trail Blazers are interested in D.J. Augustin. However, the pieces purported to be involved in that deal (Jamal Crawford), look like they’ll be a part of another deal between the Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Another interesting tidbit: Charlotte is also reportedly in the running for Mike D’Antoni’s services, per Deadspin. Make what you will of that.
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Josh Smith is the obvious piece that Atlanta would be most likely to move but, for the moment, it looks like the talented forward is staying put. According to ABC News, the Hawks won’t look to honor the trade request that Smith reportedly made and never actually denied. Instead, they'll opt to make a run with this squad as presently constructed and hope for the best.
According to Sporting News, at one point or another Miami inquired about Chris Kaman’s services. However, beyond very general conversations, the Heat hasn’t really pursued making any big moves. The most noteworthy thing to happen to Miami this week, as per Hot Hot Hoops, was Dwight Howard reportedly expressing interesting in potentially joining them as a free agent. Will it happen? Probably not. But it’s an interesting rumor, nevertheless.
Orlando is an absolute circus right now. According to ESPN, the Magic reportedly want to trade Dwight Howard more than ever at this very moment. However, over the last 24 hours he’s suddenly started expressing a desire to stay with the franchise – which obviously complicates things. Orlando looks like it’ll try to trade the center, should he refuse to stay beyond this summer, but you have to figure that the Magic have zero leverage at this point. Hence the reports that they were trying to get the Lakers involved. Come the hours leading up to the deadline, Orlando may want to move Howard, but it might wind up being very disappointed with what it gets offered for him.
Washington was willing to talk to the Los Angeles Clippers about a potential deal for Nick Young, according to ESPN. Apparently, though, the deal eventually fell apart because the asking price was too high. The team is also looking to move Andray Blatche, per the Washington Post, but can’t find any suitors. ESPN noted that the Wizards have even gone so far as to try to package him and JaVale McGee together in a possible deal; however, nobody wanted two chronic underachievers with character issues either. All signs point to this team remaining intact come 12:01, Thursday.