Dwight Howard is trying to control the process — he has given the Magic a list of places he is willing to sign a contract extension if traded (Dallas, New Jersey and with the Los Angeles Lakers).
But the Magic are hoping other teams will jump in with bids to rent the superstar center for half a season. Teams with little or no shot of keeping him long term.
Right. I’m hoping to buy a small Caribbean island with my lottery winnings. But the Magic are hoping teams will jump in to “rent-a-Dwight” according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The Magic are talking to more teams than the ones on Dwight Howard’s wish list. They will listen to anybody who is willing to take a risk and give up a few good men for Howard if he can lead them to the NBA Finals as a temp.
It’s another reason why they will wait until the March 15 deadline to make a deal for Howard, after he’s played 44 games in Orlando. His new team would land him for 22 games, plus the postseason.
Thing is, it’s still going to take A-list assets to get Howard, so is a team really going to give up a star player or two to rent Dwight Howard for 22 games and the playoffs?
Bottom line here is the Magic are still trying to convince Dwight to stay and will through the All-Star Game (in Orlando in late February) and after that the trade talks will get serious. Until then, the Magic can dream teams will fall over themselves to trade for Howard. What they will find is teams know Howard wants out and the pressure will really be on Orlando.
Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.
More than fine.
Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.
Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):
The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.
Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.
Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.
The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?
Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:
If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.
The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.
It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.
Remember when Aaron Gordon was a promising fun player?
The Magic sidetracked him by playing him at small forward most of last season. But back at power forward, Gordon showed how he could push the pace as a four in Orlando’s season-opening win over the Heat.
There’s obviously flair in passing to yourself off the backboard, but it’s a sound way to improve position. Gordon did that to fantastic effect.