It was yet another night of fevered Dwight Howard rumors, as he reiterated his trade demands in a meeting with Magic GM Rob Hennigan and assistant GM Scott Perry. One of the bombshells amidst a flurry of reports was that the Mavericks are the "overwhelming favorite" to sign Howard if he becomes a free agent next summer. That makes a trade more difficult, as Wojnarowski writes, since other teams now know Howard has a soft spot for Dallas. Chris Mannix of SI.com says Howard would re-sign with the Lakers or Nets if traded there, but otherwise plans to become a Maverick (Twitter link). Zach Lowe of SI.com points out, with an assist from Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com, that the Mavs would have to clear some cap room for 2013/14 in order to make a maximum offer for Howard (All four Twitter links). Here's more from the Association this evening:
- Nets GM Billy King doesn't consider signing a backup center a priority after missing out on Nazr Mohammed, reports Fred Kerber of the New York Post, who adds that the team's offseason work is likely done.
- Jason Quick of The Oregonian takes an in-depth look at the finalists for the Blazers head coaching job.
- Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com does the math and determines the Magic own a pair of trade exceptions: $2.75MM left over from the Brandon Bass trade expiring December 12th, and $4.35MM from the trade that sent Ryan Anderson away, expiring next summer.
- Michael Lee of The Washington Post spoke with Cartier Martin, who recently re-signed with the Wizards. Martin is the only Wizard left on the roster from before Washington took John Wall with the No. 1 pick 2011, as Lee notes.
- A veteran NBA doctor tells Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork that 75% of players require some kind of procedure on their knees at the end of the season, and many of them keep it a secret (Twitter link).
- Obrad Fimic, the agent for Russian guard Alexey Shved, said the Nets showed no interest in his client despite being owned by fellow Russian Mikhail Prokhorov, tweets Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Shved finalized his three year, $10MM deal with the Wolves today.
- Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star argues retaining assistant coach Brian Shaw is the best move the Pacers have made this offseason.