While reports yesterday suggested that the Magic had suspended Dwight Howard trade talks while they search for a new head coach, it appears the team is still willing to listen to new offers. However, those offers likely won't be coming from the Nets for a while. After Brooklyn agreed to re-sign Brook Lopez to a four-year, maximum-salary contract, it took the team's top trade chip from the trade block until at least January 15th, at which point he's eligible to be traded again. Who knows if Howard will still be in Orlando by that point, but here's the latest on the Magic's star center:
- Although Howard remains Houston's number one priority, Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld tweeted earlier that acquiring Andrew Bynum in a three-way deal with Orlando and the Lakers is the designated back up plan.
- Interestingly enough, ESPN's Marc Stein retweeted a follower who recognized that the Rockets' official Twitter account decided to follow Dwight Howard, Chris Duhon, Glen Davis, and Jason Richardson as of tonight.
- John Denton of NBA.com says that according to GM Rob Hennigan, there is nothing imminent in Howard trade talks.
- The Rockets aren't giving up on acquiring Howard and are hoping to emerge as the frontrunners with the Nets out of the picture, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld. According to Kennedy, the Magic and Rockets have discussed "a number of scenarios," all of which would give Orlando draft picks, young players, and cap relief.
- GM Rob Hennigan called Howard last night to ask if he'd reconsider his trade request and give the new Magic regime a chance to keep him in Orlando, according to Ric Bucher of ESPN.com. However, D12 was unwilling to change his stance, says Bucher.
- Talks with the Rockets grew "serious" at one point on Wednesday, but the Magic backed off to consider their options, says Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. As we heard last night, Houston is considering the possibility of amnestying Luis Scola to create more cap room for a Howard blockbuster.
- With the Nets likely out as trade partners until January, the Magic have lost a good deal of leverage, writes Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.