Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard gestures to the crowd after winning in Toronto

Magic, Mavericks talk about Dwight Howard deal, but it’s unlikely. At best.


If you want to know why the Orlando Magic are holding out, waiting for a better offer to come their way for Dwight Howard, it is in part because they know other offers will come. Other teams will at least probe the talks.

Like, the Dallas Mavericks.

Dallas has had conversations with Orlando about a Dwight Howard trade in the last week, the Magic GM confirmed to Mike Fisher at FoxSportsSouthwest.com. But he adds that you shouldn’t bet on a deal actually happening.

Mavs GM Donnie Nelson and Magic GM Orlando GM Rob Hennigan visited last week about a Dwight Howard trade and “will probably talk again,” Nelson tells FOXSportsSouthwest.com….

“There’s just not much there (in terms of a Mavs-Magic trade to be done in 2012),” Nelson tells us.

Nelson suggests that there are offers on the table for Dwight that “trump” what Dallas can present now or in the near future, which includes expiring contracts, the promise of cap space, and maybe the willingness to take back contract ballast.

The most likely way Dallas lands Howard is he becomes a free agent next summer and comes to Dallas. That would come about because Orlando doesn’t trade him or does send him to a place he will not sign an extension beyond next season. Most likely Howard will get traded, it’s just where that is up in the air.

We know about a couple proposed deals. There is the one where the Lakers land Howard and offer up Andrew Bynum as the key piece going out, either to Orlando directly or to a third team (Cleveland or Houston) that would send picks and/or young players to Orlando. Then there is talk of a direct Houston deal with Orlando that would send picks and young players to Orlando for a rental of Howard (the center has said he would not sign a new deal to stay in Houston beyond this season).

Neither of those deals was good enough for Orlando to pull the trigger.

So we go around in circles, and the Magic wait to see if other teams will jump in. Dallas did, but like most teams they don’t have more to offer than the teams already in the game.

PBT Extra: How did Thunder, Pacers move up in PBT Power Rankings?

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As they do every Monday during the season, the PBT Power Rankings came out and while the top three remained the same there were some climbers.

Specifically, the Thunder at No. 4 and the Pacers at No. 5.

Why they are there is the latest PBT Extra topic with Jenna Corrado. The simple answer is they are both excellent teams. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Paul George are all playing like Top 10 players.

PBT Podcast: We’re back talking Kobe, 76ers, Warriors, Pistons, more

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The ProBasketballTalk NBA podcast is back.

Sure we’re a month into the season, but we’re going to get this podcast rolling again and you can expect us on each Monday and Thursday, with a variety of guests talking everything around the NBA.

Today NBC’s own Dan Feldman joins Kurt Helin to talk Kobe Bryant‘s retirement announcement, and what that means both for the Lakers going forward this season and beyond, but also what that could mean for Byron Scott’s future as the Lakers’ coach.

We also delve into the “showdown” between the Lakers and Sixers on Thursday, talk about the job Brett Brown is doing there as coach (a good one), we talk some Warriors, some Draymond Green, Pistons, Spurs and Pacers to round it all out.

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.


Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins probable to play against Dallas Monday

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It’s this simple: The Sacramento Kings are 5-5 when DeMarcus Cousins plays this season, 1-7 when he sits. (And that win number is a big misleading, they looked like they would have beaten Charlotte with him, but when he left with back pain they lost, they could easily be 6-4 with him.)

So it’s good news that Cousins is expected to return to the Sacramento lineup Monday night. Well not good for Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks, but good for the Kings, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea,com.

This season Cousins is averaging 27.9 points and 11.2 rebounds a game, he has a true shooting percentage above the league average (56.3 percent for Cousins) and he has a PER of 27.1 which is sixth best in the league.

Combine him with the numbers Rajon Rondo has put up lately the Kings become much more dangerous. They’d be even scarier if everyone stayed healthy and George Karl would settle on a lineup.

PBT Extra: Kobe Bryant understands now is time to walk away

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It was expected Kobe Bryant would retire at the end of this season.

It was not expected Kobe would make that official on Nov. 29 — it’s caught the media at Staples Center Sunday (of which I was one) and the fans by surprise.

In this PBT Extra, I talk with Jenna Corrado about the mood inside Staples Center Sunday.

More importantly, I discuss the sense I got that Kobe understands it’s time to walk away, and he is at peace with that.