The Dwight Howard rumor mill was in full swing on Monday, as we needed multiple posts to round up all of the day's rumblings. I recapped the Monday highlights right here, including the framework of a possible four-team deal, but things continue to evolve quickly. So let's follow along with Tuesday's updates, which we'll add to the top of this page throughout the day....
- As Marc Stein suggested (below), the Rockets have remained "strongly engaged" with the Magic on direct talks for Howard and haven't spent much time on three-team scenarios, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
- The Lakers have improved their chances of acquiring Howard by being more open to taking back Jason Richardson's three-year, $18.6MM contract, reports Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter).
- The Rockets and Magic are discussing a simpler two-team trade that would send Howard to Houston, writes Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Stein says the Rockets' position has strengthened due to the fact that no team has offered the Magic a better first-rounder than the one Houston will receive this evening from the Raptors in the verbally-agreed Kyle Lowry trade.
- The Lakers, Magic, and Rockets have engaged in "preliminary talks" about a three-team deal that would send Howard to the Lakers and Andrew Bynum to Houston, according to Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld. Pincus cautions that nothing is imminent at all, but says Orlando isn't in love with the idea of tying up their cap with a long-term deal for Bynum or Brook Lopez, and may prefer a collection of young players and draft picks.
- The Magic are "projecting confidence" that Howard will be dealt by the end of the week, says Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
- The Magic have continued to talk to the Rockets and Lakers about deals for Howard, says Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Wojnarowski adds that some Orlando officials have concerns about committing maximum-salary money to Brook Lopez, given his injury history.
- With the Cavs out of the picture, the Magic could receive as many as five total first-round picks if they agree to take on Kris Humphries, says Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
- The Cavs are no longer involved in the Nets/Magic talks, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports confirms. If Howard is to be traded to the Nets in the near-term, it will probably have to be a two-team deal, Wojnarowski adds (Twitterlinks).
- The Nets aren't as optimistic about getting a deal done as they were a day or two ago, writes Fred Kerber of the New York Post.
- The Bobcats are willing to give Kris Humphries a multiyear guarantee in a potential three-way deal with the Nets and Magic if they can also land MarShon Brooks, says Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (Sulia link). It's not clear what Charlotte would be giving up in that scenario. On the other hand, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com hears that the Bobcats are "not in the mix" at all (Twitter link), while ESPN.com's Ric Bucher says Charlotte wants a first-round pick rather than Brooks (Twitter link). It's safe to say that the Bobcats' involvement is a little hazy at this point.
- In talking to several agents and GMs, Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (Sulia link) no longer hears the Cavs mentioned as the third team in any Magic/Nets talks. Said one agent: "I'm not 100%, but from everything I've heard today, [the Cavs] are out."
- The Magic have re-opened trade talks with teams besides the Nets, says Ric Bucher of ESPN.com. Bucher hears that the Hawks are one team talking to Orlando, but they "aren't the best option."
- Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld has the latest developments in the Nets/Magic talks, noting that the Bobcats are open to taking Kris Humphries (but only on a one-year contract) and that the Timberwolves have "real interest" in Jason Richardson and MarShon Brooks. Kyler adds that if the deal doesn't at least get within striking distance by the end of the day, the Nets may have to move on.
- Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (Twitter link) hears the Bobcats could take the place of both the Cavaliers and Clippers in the talks, which presumably means they'd acquire both Kris Humphries and MarShon Brooks, among other pieces. Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (Twitter link) confirms that the Bobcats are in the mix.
- Kennedy adds that the Cavs are having "second thoughts" about the deal and that the Timberwolves are another candidate to enter the fray (Twitterlinks).
- As new teams become involved in the discussions, most are high on Brooks, but wary of Humphries, tweets Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com. Rudolph adds (via Twitter) that the involved teams are likely to push for completion of the deal today, and Fred Kerber of the New York Post agrees that there should be resolution today. On the other hand, Amico is hearing that it's highly unlikely a deal is agreed upon before Wednesday.