Dwight Howard still has some leverage over in where he gets traded.
Not because the Magic give a rat’s a** what he wants, if they could trade him to a team from Siberia in the Russian league they would do it. Rather it’s because he can walk away as a free agent next summer from wherever he gets traded if he wants.
There are teams that might make a good offer for Howard if he would agree to sign an extension. Like, say, the Lakers. Check out this tweet from Jarrod Rudolph, who writes for Real GM and is well connected in Orlando.
Source: Lakers are prepared to offer the Andrew Bynum and Metta World Peace to the Magic for Dwight Howard provided Howard signs extension… I’m told the Magic will include Jason Richardson in any deal for Dwight Howard.
The second part of that I’m sure is true — they want to ship Richardson or Hedo Turkoglu out with this deal. And while Richardson makes less per year he has a longer deal and is due more money in total.
But the extension… that’s not going to happen. Not exactly. First off, even if Howard decided he wanted to re-sign with the Lakers he would become a free agent then re-sign under Bird rights because he would get more money and more years. (It’s what Chris Paul is doing, he can sign an extension now for three years and $60 million or become a free agent after next season and re-sign with the Clippers for five years $105 million. Easy call.)
Howard has been dead-set against coming to the Lakers through the process. Reportedly it starts with Howard not wanting to follow in Shaquille O’Neal’s footsteps from Orlando to Los Angeles. But multiple reports also say Howard was turned off by a phone conversation with Kobe Bryant last year where Kobe allegedly said Howard would be the third offensive option on the Lakers (behind Kobe and Pau Gasol). He essentially said he would be the Lakers Tyson Chandler, or that’s how it was perceived. Howard wants to be the star where he goes.
So don’t bet on the Lakers winning this battle.
But the sweepstakes is on for Howard, and he still has a little control over the process.
The Nets went 20-62 then traded their best player (Brook Lopez) for a worse player (D'Angelo Russell). Brooklyn’s biggest free-agent signing this summer (Otto Porter) plays for the Wizards. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert are nice developmental pieces but hardly seem on the verge of breakthroughs.
Still, Nets guard Jeremy Lin expects big things next season.
He set expectations in an Instagram Live video (hat tip: AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today):
We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says.
The Nets are on the right track given their asset constraints. Though worse than Lopez now, Russell – eight years younger and on a low-paying rookie-scale deal – is more valuable. Brooklyn made the favorable swap by absorbing Timofey Mozgov‘s awful contract, a wise use of assets considering the difficulty of attracting free agents. An aggressive offer sheet for Porter was a reasonable swing in that situation, as well.
But that’s all helpful in the long run. In the short term, the Nets are almost certainly stuck as lousy. Maybe they can sneak into the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference, but even that is a huge longshot.
Not that Lin cares what I say.
When you think of Summer League basketball, sharp defensive rotations is not the first thing that comes to mind. Defense, in general, tends to be an after thought.
But there were some great blocks.
Here are the top 10 blocks from the Las Vegas Summer League. Enjoy the flashes of defense from Vegas.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies have signed former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, a second-round pick in last month’s NBA draft.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Brooks was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 45th overall pick. The Grizzlies acquired him in exchange for a future second-round pick.
Brooks, 21, averaged 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a junior at Oregon last season. He was named the Pac-12 player of the year and helped Oregon earn its first Final Four berth since 1939.
Carmelo Anthony was reportedly willing to waive his no-trade clause for the Rockets or Cavaliers. Cleveland never seemed overly interested, but Houston was. Anthony became set on the Rockets, even reportedly expecting a trade to Houston.
Then, Kyrie Irving requested a trade from the Cavs.
That has thrown everything for a loop. Maybe Cleveland is more keen on trading for Anthony now? The Knicks are reportedly interested in trading Anthony and draft picks for Irving.
But any deal still depends on Anthony’s approval, and it’s now unclear he’d still grant that for the Cavaliers.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:
However, a source close to Anthony said late Friday that the All Star forward is focused on getting a deal done with Houston.
Consider this another indication LeBron James will leave Cleveland next summer. Of course, Anthony might have other reasons for preferring Houston. But when reading tea leaves on LeBron’s future, this is a clue.
I doubt LeBron has completely decided his plan, and he hasn’t even necessarily shared his thinking with Anthony, a close friend. Remember, LeBron edited his coming-home essay while on a flight with an unknowing Dwyane Wade, another close friend. But it was one thing for LeBron to strand Wade in Miami, a desirable city where Wade was happy even before LeBron arrived. It’d be something else entirely for LeBron to ditch Anthony in Cleveland. If LeBron is considering leaving, maybe he’d tell Anthony to stay clear.
Anthony could also be operating without hearing directly from LeBron. But if LeBron’s friend believes LeBron might leave, that’d still say something (though obviously not as much).
Back to the possibility that Anthony prefers the Rockets for other reasons. What happens if New York and Cleveland agree to a trade? Does Anthony still hold out for his top choice? Or does he relent and accept what was once his second choice? For now, it seems as if he’s still angling for Houston and will cross other bridges if he reaches them.