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Odds & Ends: Howard, Lakers, Durant, Nash

With the likes of Chase Budinger and Jeremy Evans among the Slam Dunk contestants set to do battle on Saturday evening in Orlando, let's take a look around the league to see what else is happening:

  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (via Twitter) says he's having a hard time with Dwight Howard's constant line of wanting to push aside distractions and focus on winning. It's Howard, not anyone else, who has created such distractions by making trade demands and by telling his agent to ask for permission to pursue possible deals. 
  • Chris Sheridan of is looking forward to the NBA trade deadline (March 15) and wonders if the Lakers should blow up their roster now or simply wait until the summer. He says that the Celtics are in a similar situation, but is excited to see another group of aging players in the Spurs continue to do well and perhaps threaten for an NBA Finals appearance.
  • Kevin Durant believes the Hornets can rebuild their franchise through the draft in a similar fashion to his own team, writes John Reid of The Times-Picayune''Losing C.P. and David West was tough for the Hornets, but they have Trevor Ariza and I like Gustavo Ayon. You know it's just a matter of time before everything starts to click. But losing your point guard in a lockout shortened season is tough. I love Monty for what he does and stands for.''
  • Jared Zwerling of says Steve Nash believes Jeremy Lin is the type of player that can succeed in any type of NBA system. While Lin is expected to re-sign with the Knicks this summer, such an endorsement from a marquee player may go a long way to drive up the asking price for the restricted free agent.

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