The Orlando Magic will not trade Dwight Howard at any point in the foreseeable future.
So far, based on various reports floating out of Rob Hennigan’s camp, the closest thing to a date for a possible move we’ve gotten thus far is maybe August. And if you’re reading between the lines, Howard getting moved in August probably isn’t all that likely either.
So what does Orlando’s indecision mean for the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers?
Well, the four teams who were directly tied to a Howard trade at some point over the last month will simply have to better themselves in other ways. They’ll have to pretend that they weren’t hit by a tornado of speculation, teasing and bluffing, that they didn’t waste at least a month on basically nothing, and that all the conjecture didn’t impact their summer plans.
Most importantly, though, they’ll have to start tuning out the Magic. Given everything that’s transpired over the last however many weeks, it’s clear that Orlando brass is simply not willing to part ways with their disgruntled big man; fine, but everyone involved has to be aware of that by now. These teams can’t continue to risk alienating their players by chasing this dumb trade.
To start, the Lakers will need to make nice with Andrew Bynum. Despite the fact that they’ve essentially shopped him all summer to at least three different teams, Mitch Kupchak and Co. will need to convince their guy that he’s really the one that they wanted all along. L.A. won’t be able to re-sign him this year because Bynum wouldn’t get max value if that were to happen, but they’ll try to get him sweet on the prospect of re-signing as soon as possible.
The Nets, who effectively took themselves out of the running for Howard (until the midpoint of next season, at least) when they inked Brook Lopez to his huge deal, will continue to tinker with a pretty solid roster. They have their new nucleus in place already so, at this point, it’s all about complimentary pieces. Andrei Kirilenko was rumored to be a potential target for them; however, recent reports from Adrian Wojnarowski indicated that the Minnesota Timberwolves were angling to pick him up.
Then there is the Rockets. So far, Houston’s summer accomplishments begin and end with overpaying Omer Asik and signing (read: maybe overpaying) Jeremy Lin. They really bet the farm on being able to acquire Howard, but it appears as though their package isn’t tickling Orlando’s fancy. Barring something unforeseen happening, the Rockets will likely make one or two more small moves in the coming weeks – but this is basically their roster heading into next year.
Dan Gilbert’s Cavaliers, the most interesting squad involved in Howard trade talks, was the one team most unaffected by this drawn out waste of time. They went about their business as usual, and the bit of interest they expressed in acquiring Bynum didn’t really impact them one way or the other. Cleveland might add a wing before the start of next year but, other than that, they’re pretty much set.
Finally, there’s the Magic. This Sheridan Hoops report pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the Magic:
A source told Sheridan Hoops that trade talks involving Howard, which the Orlando Magic just put on hold, could go on all summer – of 2013.
The Magic seemed ready to take the best current offer – such as the Brooklyn Nets’ package headed by Brook Lopez – but are now determined to draw out the process in hope of getting better offers.
Translation: they’re not doing anything else this summer.
It’s time to move on.
(Kudos Sheridan Hoops)