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

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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.

Remembering Notre Dame, Laker legend Tommy “the hawk” Hawkins

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Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.

The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.

The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.