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Analysis: Lakers get Dwight Howard in four-team trade 08.10.12 at 2:29 am ET
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Well, this was unexpected. After a summer of rumors that went nowhere, the Magic have finally agreed to trade Dwight Howard in a four-team deal that only became public Thursday morning.

The trade, as reported by numerous national outlets and which is expected to be finalized on Friday, will send Howard to the Lakers continuing a long legacy of disaffected big men that have made their way to Los Angeles. Howard joins Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’€™Neal as All-Star centers who joined the Lakers after beginning their careers elsewhere.

In exchange for Howard, the Lakers sent Andrew Bynum to the 76ers but held on to Pau Gasol. That gives them a starting lineup of Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Gasol and Howard.

The trade sent Bynum right into the Celtics‘€™ backyard and if there’€™s one center Kevin Garnett struggled with this past season it’€™s Bynum.

The Sixers also absorbed the contract of Jason Richardson, who has three years left at over $18 million. Richardson is still an effective player whose perimeter shooting helps shore up their biggest weakness, but he’€™s already beginning to decline and will be 32 in January. The cost was Andre Iguodala, who will go to the Nuggets, along with Nicola Vucecic and Moe Harkless, who will go to the Magic.

It’€™s a weird mix for the Sixers, who also amnesty’€™d Elton Brand and replaced him with Nick Young and Kwame Brown earlier this offseason. They dropped Brand, Iguodala and Lou Williams from the team that took the Celtics to seven games, and while Bynum is immediately the best center in the Eastern Conference, it remains to be seen if they got better after all their offseason moves. Bynum also has one year left on his contract. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Andre Iguodala, Andrew Bynum, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol
Adrian Wojnarowski on M&M: ‘Good chance’ Celtics retain Ray Allen, Dwight Howard ‘not going to Brooklyn’ 07.03.12 at 12:14 pm ET
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Yahoo! Sports NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski appeared on the Mut & Merloni show Tuesday to discuss all things NBA, including trade rumors involving Dwight Howard and the future of Ray Allen. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Wojnarowski said that if the Celtics are indeed offering Allen a two-year deal worth $12 million, that it puts them in a favorable position to get him back, but he didn’€™t cross off other potential suitors. One team Wojnarowski doesn’€™t think will land Allen, however, are the Grizzlies, who were reportedly asking about Allen during the trade deadline.

‘€œWhen Boston and Memphis talked about a deal at the trade deadline that fell apart, I know that Ray was not excited about being sent to Memphis,’€ Wojnarowski said. ‘€œEven though they’€™re a playoff team, he didn’€™t see it as a very desirable location at that time. ‘€¦ I think geography is important to Ray and his family being geographically being closer, that’€™s why I thought the Knicks could be a possibility because of that, and obviously Miami’€™s intriguing because he knows he has a chance to be on the big stage to win, Mike Miller‘€™s future is very much in doubt there.

‘€œThe fact that Boston has shown, if they are at two years, $6 million per, which I think is comparable to what I’€™ve been hearing of what Jason Terry is being offered by teams around the league, then I think that gives Boston a good chance to be able to retain him.’€

Wojnarowski doesn’€™t think a rumored poor relationship with Rajon Rondo will deter him from signing with the Celtics, but he thinks it is a factor in the decision.

‘€œThe thing with Ray and Rajon which I think has been there, the one thing people have always said to me, in that locker room and in the organization is, whatever issue they may have had with each other, with personalities, they never carried it on the court,’€ Wojnarowski said. ‘€œIt never was an issue on the court, which at the end of the day is all that really matters. So only Ray knows how much of a factor it is. I think it is a factor, but I don’€™t think it’€™s enough of a factor that it’€™s driving him away or would drive him away. ‘€¦ Ray Allen is not going to leave Boston because he doesn’€™t get along with Rajon Rondo.’€

Wojnarowski also touched on the Howard saga. The unsatisfied All-Star center is reportedly being shopped in a potential trade with the Nets, but Wojnarowski doesn’€™t think that’€™s going to happen.

‘€œHe’€™s not going to Brooklyn. It’€™s very unlikely. Orlando’€™s not interested in accommodating what Dwight wants,’€ Wojnarowski said. ‘€œThey’€™re willing to make the deal that they think gives them the best return. Last year, when teams wanted to take Dwight as a rental, he had the real threat of, ‘€˜Hey, if you trade for me at the trade deadline or before the season or whatever it would be, I’€™m just going to go to Brooklyn as a free agent because they have cap space.’€™ He doesn’€™t have that threat anymore. The Nets are loading up all their cap space as we speak.’€

Added Wojnarowski: ‘€œWhat team out there has cap space next year that would be appealing to him? Now Atlanta has been talked about a lot the last couple of days because of all the money they’€™re getting off, but listen, a big part of what Dwight has been doing here in wanting to get to a big market, specifically New York or LA, is his Adidas deal is worth two, I’€™ve been told even three times more by being in New York or LA. So going from Orlando to Atlanta, while it’€™s his hometown and Josh Smith is a close friend, and maybe it’€™s appealing on some levels, it’€™s not going to give him the pay day that he’€™s been looking for here.’€

Read More: Adrian Wojnarowski, Celtics, Dwight Howard, Josh Smith
Rockets get 18th overall pick for Chase Budinger, Lior Eliyahu 06.26.12 at 1:50 pm ET
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The Rockets have acquired the 18th overall pick in the NBA draft from the Timberwolves in return for Chase Budinger and the rights to Lior Eliyahu according to multiple reports.

The deal gives the Rockets the 14th, 16th and 18th overall picks in Thursday’€™s draft, which gives them plenty of ammunition for more trades. The Rockets have been linked to a potential deal involving the Kings’€™ fifth overall pick in the draft, as well another deal involving the Raptors’€™ eighth overall pick.

The Rockets are reportedly using these trades to make a strong push towards acquiring Dwight Howard from the Magic despite the fact that Howard intends to become a free agent at the end of the season.

Budinger, who was the 44th overall pick in the 2009 draft, averaged 9.6 points in 22.4 minutes per game last season. The 6-foot-7 small forward shot 40.2 percent from three-point range last season and is likely to help a Timberwolves team that struggled to score from the wing. Eliyahu is a 6-foot-10, 232 pound forward who was originally  taken with the 44th overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Magic and plays professionally in Israel.

Read More: Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Rumor Mill
NBA Free Agent Rumors: Jason Terry wants long-term deal 06.18.12 at 3:28 pm ET
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Mavericks’ guard Jason Terry, an integral part of the Mavericks 2011 NBA Championship run, is set to be an unrestricted free agent July 1 and has voiced his desire for a long term deal.

The 34-year-old was last a free agent in 2006 when he was quickly re-signed by the Mavericks to a six-year, $57 million contract. This time around Terry wants another multi-year contract, preferably with Dallas, but he also has said he’s willing to test the free agent market.

The Mavericks have been rumored to be interested in acquiring free agent superstar Deron Williams if he opts out of his contract. If that’s the case then Dallas most likely will be unable to sign Terry to a long-term deal if they want to land Williams. If they can’t sign the point guard then they may choose to sign players to one-year contracts in order to prepare for next year’s free agent class that includes Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. Terry wasn’t interested in that scenario.

‘€œI won’€™t be here,’€ Terry said. ‘€œYou can count on that. If they’€™re doing that, you won’€™t see the Jet on the runway in Dallas.”

Terry switched agents recently hiring Arn Tellem and B.J. Armstrong from the Wasserman Group after cutting ties with Dan Fegan

Read More: 2012 NBA Free Agent Rumors, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Dwight Howard
Glen Davis: Magic ‘capable of beating’ Celtics in playoffs 04.19.12 at 2:26 am ET
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Since being traded from the Celtics to the Magic prior to the season, Glen Davis is now 0-3 against his former team. Yet, Big Baby believes his new squad is fully prepared to defeat the C’s should they meet in the playoffs — even without the injured Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu.

“I think we’re capable of beating them,” said Davis, who totaled 27 points in the Magic’s 102-98 loss in Boston.

If the playoffs started today, the Celtics (37-26) — who clinched a fifth straight Atlantic Division title and the Eastern Conference’s fourth seed — would face the Hawks (37-25) in the first round, but the Magic (36-26) still have a shot at the fifth seed and a date with the C’s. However, Orlando may have to do it without Howard (herniated disc) or Turkoglu (fractured face), both of whom remain doubtful until the playoffs and questionable beyond.

Which is why those in the Magic locker room viewed their four-point loss in Boston as a positive, even if the Celtics were also without two stars in Rajon Rondo (back) and Ray Allen (Allen) as well as a key role player in Mickael Pietrus (knee) — all of whom are expected back for the playoffs.

“Today, we didn’t even have two of our guys,” said Davis. “They didn’t have two of their guys, but at the same time we had a big missing piece today, and we still came out there and played the right way and was in the game. So, whatever happens, happens. Whoever we play, Indiana or Boston, we are going to bring energy, and we are going to play hard, and that’s all that matters.”

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Dwight Howard, Glen Davis, Orlando Magic
Magic drama and the Celtics postseason 04.05.12 at 3:35 pm ET
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Magic coach Stan Van Gundy blew the lid off the simmering tensions in Orlando on Thursday when he told reporters that management had informed him that star center Dwight Howard wanted him fired at the end of the year.

Or as Howard Beck from the New York Times put it:

“A well-placed Orlando Magic source claims Dwight Howard has asked the team to fire Coach Stan Van Gundy. The well-placed source? Stan Van Gundy.”

What followed was a revealing, and then awkward press conference. “It’s 12:02 right now,” Van Gundy said. “If they want to fire me at 12:05 I’ll go home and find something to do. I’ll have a good day.”

Then Howard appeared, apparently unaware of what his coach had just said. Some awkward small talk ensues and it’s clear that Howard still doesn’t know what just happened, setting up the walk-off line as Van Gundy throws Howard to the wolves: “Are you guys done with me? You can talk to him now.”

Various players have already spoken on, and off the record, in support for Van Gundy yielding a giant mess for a team that as of last week seemed fairly secure in the third spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. But the Magic have lost four straight and been passed by the Pacers in the standings.

That leaves them in fifth for the moment, opposite of where the Celtics are sitting as the fourth seed. (An important note: Winning the Atlantic Division doesn’t guarantee homecourt advantage in the first round. If the fifth seed has a better record — like the Magic do know — they would get homecourt in the series.)

Regardless, the Celtics playoff positioning is a tenuous thing. They have a game and a half lead on the slumping Sixers for first place in the Atlantic Division, but also are in the middle of facing their toughest stretch of games against quality opponents. They could finish anywhere from third to seventh.

Here’s how the standings look at the moment:

3. Indiana 33-21
4. Boston 30-23
5. Orlando 32-22
6. Atlanta 32-23
7. Philly 29-25

Here’s how they look simply by record with Games Behind noted after record:

Indiana 33-21   —
Orlando 32-22   1
Atlanta 32-23   1.5
Boston 30-23   2
Philly 29-25     3.5

The Celtics play all four of those teams once and the Hawks twice, which will set up a frantic race to the finish.

Read More: Dwight Howard, Stan Van Gundy,
Trade deadline fallout: How the deals affect the Celtics 03.19.12 at 12:41 pm ET
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The Celtics didn’t do anything about the trade deadline, but a handful of deals have direct, or indirect ramifications for their longterm rebuilding plans.

1. Dwight Howard stays in Orlando

Skip past the drama of the past week and understand that Howard’s decision to not exercise his early termination option is huge for the Celtics. First, it keeps him away from New Jersey who planned to build a team around Howard and Deron Williams. Second, it keeps him with a Magic team that will likely remain capped out for 2012-13. Third, it removes Howard from this summer’s free agent list.

Short of Howard moving to the Western Conference, this is a positive end result for the Celtics, who can now shift their attention elsewhere.

2. New Jersey makes a panic move

After not getting Howard, the Nets traded a top-3 protected pick to Portland for Gerald Wallace in an apparent effort to keep Williams happy. Wallace is a good player and the Nets spin is that the upcoming draft lacks game-changers at the top of the draft. However, what the draft lacks in quality it more than makes up for in quantity and the Nets gave away a coveted future asset for potentially half a season of Wallace.

Williams and Wallace have ETO’s and the Nets run the risk of losing both players at the end of the season. The Nets stay the Nets, in other words. This is good for the Celtics and possibly great for the Mavericks, who will no doubt zero in on Williams this summer.

3. Portland blows it up

Now this was a demolition. The Blazers not only traded Wallace, they also dealt Macus Camby to Houston for Jonny Flynn and Hasheem Thabeet. How does this affect the Celtics? The Blazers cleared a direct path to re-sign Nic Batum, who will be a coveted restricted free agent. Batum would have been perfect alongside Rajon Rondo.

4. Denver acquires JaVale McGee

Interesting move by the Nuggets, who dealt center Nene and his 5-year, $65 million contract. While this seems curious on its face, there is a method the madness. As Mark Deeks wrote, the Nuggets likely never had any intention of keeping Nene through to the end of his deal. He was signed to be traded, which is how a proactive organization goes about its business. (New Jersey, take note).

The principal return was McGee, an athletic shot-blocking freak, known more for his LOL-worthy stunts. However, he’s also an athletic shot-blocking freak and the basketball world is beyond curious to see what happens to McGee now that he is in a structured situation on a good team with a strong-willed coach.

He’ll command huge money as a restricted free agent — again, shot-blocking freaks are rare — and Denver has the upper hand on retaining him. McGee would have been an intriguing possibility for the Celtics, but like Batum he’ll now likely be out of their reach.

Read More: Deron Williams, Dwight Howard, gerald wallace, JaVale McGee
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