Today could be the last hurrah for Dwight Howard in Orlando, where the rumored departure of yet another "Superman" has cast a pall over the mood surrounding All-Star weekend, observes Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News. We'll track the D12 rumors through tonight's All-Star Game here in this post, with the latest stuff up top, as usual:
- John Denton, who writes for the Magic website and recently published a book with Howard, tweets that he heard from a "very reliable source" that the Nets doubt that the Magic will move Howard before the March 15th deadline.
- If you watched the All-Star Game, you saw Craig Sager report that Dwight Howard's mom wants him to stay in Orlando. Howard spoke to it after the game, saying, "I don’t know what she said, but that’s my mom’s opinion. That’s it." (via Twitter here and here)
- Magic CEO Alex Martins has denied that they are close to a three way deal that would send Howard to the Lakers, according to Josh Robbins at the Orlando Sentinel. Orlando intends to talk to its All-Star center before March 1st about his offseason intentions.
- While it's unknown whether it would be a factor, Adidas would not object to Howard joining fellow Adidas headliner Derrick Rose in Chicago, despite reports to the contrary, says ESPN Chicago's Nick Friedell.
- Brian Schmitz from the Orlando Sentinel says he has heard rumblings of a three way deal that could happen as soon as March 1st. The deal has Howard going to the Lakers with Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu. Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Jose Calderon would end up in Orlando. Schmitz isn't sure what the Raptors would receive for Calderon. That would be an impressive haul for Orlando.
- Salary cap guru Larry Coon says the Nets and Magic are working on a long-rumored trade involving Dwight Howard and Brook Lopez, though nothing is imminent. A third team could be in on the deal. Coon doubts Dwight Howard will wind up with the Knicks, though the odds of D12 staying are lower than the Magic think they are. (Twitter links)
- The Knicks could be a darkhorse in the Howard sweepstakes, writes Peter Vecsey of the New York Post. He quotes an unnamed Eastern Conference GM who says, "I’m positive the Knicks have called just in case Dwight changes up. I’m sure they’ve offered a combination of everybody, excluding Jeremy Lin, of course. [Magic GM] Otis [Smith] deserves a lot of credit for not putting it out on the street which teams have offered what."
- Vecsey also says a Western Conference executive has told him the Lakers have offered Andrew Bynum for Howard, but the Magic have no interest.
- Carmelo Anthony is glad to be watching Dwight Howard field countless questions about his future this year, instead of being the focus of last year's Melo-drama, notes Marc Berman of the New York Post. Anthony called last year's proceedings "a zoo."