Dwight Howard opened up this weekend about his parting with the Magic, in advance of Orlando's meeting with the Lakers last night, and he talked about his willingness to change teams if that's what the pursuit of a championship requires. John Denton of Magic.com interprets that comment to mean D12 might be willing to leave the Lakers as a free agent next summer, but it seems more logical that Howard was referring to his departure from the Magic. Either way, there's plenty of room for pessimism about this year's Laker team, which takes an 8-9 record on the road for seven of its next eight games. Here's more from around the Association:
- Injuries to other Timberwolves have thrust rookie Alexey Shved into a prominent role, and the Russian guard is surprised at how quickly NBA success has come, writes Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
- Wolves coach Rick Adelman believes Shved will eventually become a mainstay in the backcourt alongside Ricky Rubio, as Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune documents.
- HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler, who noted earlier that the Hornets are not shopping Ryan Anderson, says the team isn't looking for an immediate solution to its troubles this season, preferring an approach predicated on draft picks and cap space (Twitter link).
- Earl Boykins, linked to the Mavericks last week before they signed Derek Fisher, has been working out in Denver and is in great shape as he awaits interest from teams, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).
- DaJuan Summers, who last played in the NBA with the Hornets in 2011/12 and was a training camp invitee of the Bobcats, has signed to play with the Maine Red Claws of the D-League, tweets Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com, who notes the Red Claws let go of Brian Cusworth.
The Dwight Howard/Andrew Bynum trade, like many of the offseason's marquee moves, has yet to pay dividends for any of the teams involved, writes Michael Lee of The Washington Post. Lee thinks the Lakers and Nuggets will turn around their slow starts this season, but he's less optimistic about the Sixers, whom he believes must give Bynum a hefty contract this summer, no matter when he comes back from injury, to justify their involvement in the trade. We've already heard conflicting views on what kind of deal Bynum can expect this summer, and as we wait to find out, there's more news on Philly's Atlantic Division rivals.
- Presumably it's GM Glen Grunwald, if not owner James Dolan, calling the shots on Knicks personnel, but coach Mike Woodson said the decision to let Jeremy Lin go this summer was straightforward, as Newsday's Al Iannazzonne observes. "That’s a business decision," Woodson said. "I don’t think it was difficult. We just decided to go in a different direction, based on the guys I thought I liked in terms of Raymond (Felton), Jason (Kidd) and Pablo (Prigioni)."
- Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com, who credits Dolan with making the call on Lin, says he's come around to the owner's side on this one after initially believing the Knicks should have kept Lin.
- The Celtics signed Brian Cusworth toward the end of training camp and waived him shortly thereafter so their D-League affiliate could own their rights, reports Mark Deeks of ShamSports (Twitter link). We noted earlier today that the Timberwolves carried out the same sort of transactions with Demetris Nichols and Troy Hudson. Cusworth, a 7'0" center from Harvard, is on the roster of the Maine Red Claws for opening night tonight.
- Jeff Green remains friends with Kevin Durant, but he has otherwise moved on from his Thunder days as he prepares to take on his old team tonight, he told reporters, including Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
- Offseason signee Mirza Teletovic, on the inactive list tonight, isn't seeing much of the court for the Nets, as Josh Newman of SNY.tv chronicles.