In yesterday's round of Dwight Howard rumors, we learned that the Cavaliers had pulled out of the complicated four-team talks that included the Nets and Magic. The Nets are still in the mix for Howard, but are focusing more on one-on-one talks with Orlando now. Meanwhile, the Magic continue to talk with other teams, including the Rockets, Lakers, and Hawks, about a variety of trade scenarios involving the star center. What will today bring? We'll track the latest right here….
- According to SI.com's Sam Amick, the Magic could simply let the Nets fall out of the race for Howard and seek another trade partner. Amick adds that the Rockets have been calling around looking for a taker for Luis Scola, in an effort to allow the Magic to clear more cap space in a Howard deal.
- Among the Nets' reasons for accelerating the Howard talks: They're concerned that the Trail Blazers will step in and sign Brook Lopez to an offer sheet after missing out on Roy Hibbert, tweets ESPN.com's Marc Stein. The Rockets represent another threat to the Nets if their offer sheet for Omer Asik is matched, adds ESPN.com's Chad Ford (via Twitter).
- Neither Andrew Bynum or his agent have been contacted by another club to gauge their interest in a long-term deal, tweets Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. Presumably, if the Rockets or Magic were to acquire Bynum in a Howard trade, that topic would at least come up briefly before a deal was finalized. As of yesterday, the Lakers assured Bynum's camp that "nothing's happening" on the trade front, tweets Berger.
- Chad Ford of ESPN.com tweets that the Nets have informed the Magic that if the two sides are to work out a Howard deal, it must be completed by the end of the business day.
- The Nets intend to resolve their pursuit of Howard today, by either acquiring him or moving on, says ESPN.com's Ric Bucher. According to Bucher, Nets GM Billy King is meeting with Brook Lopez today with the intent of finalizing either a sign-and-trade deal or a new contract to keep him in Brooklyn.
- Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com (Twitter link) hears from a source that the Howard talks are "all coming to a head," suggesting that a deal could happen today. With no clear frontrunner at the moment, I'd be a little surprised to see something come together that quickly, but there's reason to accelerate the process: Now that the moratorium is over, there's a chance that players required for sign-and-trade deals could start signing contracts elsewhere.