Updates on the latest Dwight Howard rumors have been a daily feature over the course of Hoops Rumors' first week. Considering we still have exactly six weeks until the trade deadline, that trend may continue for a while yet. Here are Friday's Howard items, with the newest updates up top:
- Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wonders why Orlando no longer appears to be an attractive destination for NBA free agents – specifically why the Magic haven't sold Howard on the idea that they can attract stars to come to him, as opposed to the other way around.
- Howard's camp has informed the Lakers that the center would opt out and test free agency if he's dealt to Los Angeles, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.
- Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM suggests the Nets should just wait out the Howard sweepstakes, since he seems interested in signing with them on the open market after the season.
- The Magic figure to push for resolution one way or the other when March arrives, says Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel. The club said the DeVos family hasn't asked the Magic not to trade Howard until after the All-Star game in Orlando, Schmitz tweets.
- The Nets are quietly confident they can land Howard, with a team source telling Fred Kerber of the New York Post the team is "more than just 'in the mix.'"
- Kerber also hears from sources that Howard isn't overly enthusiastic about going to the Lakers because Shaquille O'Neal's shadow looms. After the disagreement between the two about the "Superman" nickname, I could buy that Howard would be reluctant to again follow in O'Neal's footsteps with an Orlando-to-L.A. move.
- One executive to Kerber, on the possibility of trading for Howard without being sure he'd sign a contract extension: "To bring in a player of that magnitude without assurances he’d be staying would be professional suicide."
- In an interview with 710 ESPN in Los Angeles (via ESPNLosAngeles.com), former Lakers GM Jerry West said if he were an executive in a situation similar to Howard's, he would call the player's bluff: "I don't think any agent or player is going to leave $30MM on the table. I just don't believe that's going to happen."