Predictably, even though Dwight Howard declined comment for most of the weekend on his trade request and his next destination, rumors and speculation on D12 still dominated the All-Star proceedings. You can catch up on the latest rumors in our extensive Howard post from Sunday, and follow along with today's updates below:
- Sources with knowledge of Howard's thinking say that while his wish-list of teams still includes the Nets, Lakers and Mavs, New Jersey is far and away the leader, writes Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated. Amick also notes that even though Howard could sign with the Nets in free agency, getting there via trade means that he can sign a five-year deal with a 7.5 percent raise versus a four-year deal with a 4.5 percent raise.
- Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld says staying in Orlando for one more season is a real possibility for Howard, who could opt in for next year at $19.54MM. Kyler's piece includes a number of updates on the Howard rumors that circulated during the All-Star break.
- Several team executives believe Howard won't be moved before the trade deadline, says Fred Kerber of the New York Post. The "consensus feeling" is that any offers the Magic get before March 15th could also be had later. Plus, Orlando would have more time to convince Howard to stay.
- The Lakers are "fading as a viable trade option," due to questions about Andrew Bynum's knees, adds Kerber. Based on what we've heard to date, it seems like the Magic are reluctant to send Howard to L.A. even for a healthy Bynum.
- Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM.com believes trading for Bynum would be the best decision Orlando could make.