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Dwight Howard Upset GM Otis Smith Hasn’t Taken More of His Advice

Dwight Howard has been pushing for a trade from the Magic. He’s hinted that he wants to go to the Lakers, but his GM reportedly isn’t interested in what the Lakers are offering. He’s also interested in playing for the Nets with Deron Williams.

Though it’s obvious that Dwight wants out, he’s trying to leave Orlando without looking like the bad guy. He’s blamed the media for pushing him out, and now he’s blaming his GM for not doing enough.

“I’ve talked to a lot of guys and they’ve expressed a lot of interest and would come here,” Howard said. “And I’ve expressed that to the correct people, and none of it’s happened.

Offered the chance to respond, [GM Otis] Smith countered that he has consulted with Howard on most, if not all, moves made in recent years. Smith also said that he did acquire some of the players Howard had suggested.

Howard says he has not had a good enough relationship with his GM. I don’t know what kind of moves Dwight has suggested, but I think Smith has done a pretty good job building the roster. He’s acquired Ryan Anderson, Marcin Gortat, and Hedo Turkoglu in trades. He’s drafted players like Dwight, J.J. Redick, and Courtney Lee. Hedo Turkoglu and Brandon Bass marked some of his better signings.

The team made the Finals three seasons ago, and then lost in the Conference Finals two seasons ago. They’ve had good teams. Otis Smith built good rosters. Losing Hedo Turkoglu to the Raptors took away one of their key players, and then everything fell apart last season. I can see why Dwight wants out, but he shouldn’t blame Otis Smith as the reason.

Dwight Howard and Deron Williams as Nets Teammates Would Give Heat Problems

Based on all indications, Dwight Howard wants out of Orlando. He is under contract for this season, but can opt out of his deal after the year (he has a player option for 2012-2013). The Lakers may try to acquire him via trade or free agency, but for now, reports say Dwight is trying to force a trade to the Nets.

The Nets reportedly are offering center Brook Lopez and two first-round draft picks for Howard. Lopez is better than average at center, but Dwight is one of the consensus top five players in the game. It’s a good deal for the Nets, even if they only get Howard for one season. They’d be able to pair him with point guard Deron Williams, whom they also acquired via trade, and see if they can sign either player longterm after the season. The pairing would present a lethal combination.

If the Nets can land Howard, they would be a top four team in the East. Moreover, they would give the Heat absolute fits because they would be strong exactly where the Heat are weak. Miami doesn’t have a center to face Dwight (please, don’t tell me Joel Anthony). They don’t have a point guard who can keep up with Deron Williams. That doesn’t mean they would lose to the Nets in the playoffs, but just keep in mind that the matchup may favor the Nets.

New Jersey has very little depth and would have to add many more players to become competitive, but with Dwight Howard and Deron Williams, they would have two players who are arguably in the top two at their position. It certainly would make the East a lot more interesting.

Jared Dudley: Chris Paul Without Dwight Howard Would Make Lakers Worse

According to Yahoo! Sports, Chris Paul is headed to the Lakers. The proposed deal will send Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom to the Hornets in exchange for CP3. The Houston Rockets could also be involved. The details will soon be hashed out, but it appears phase one of the Lakers makeover is complete.  With Andrew Bynum not a part of the reported trade, it would stand to reason that he could be a centerpiece for another trade that would bring Dwight Howard to L.A.

Assuming all the information is accurate, the first (only?) trade raises an interesting point.  As I Am a GM shared with us, Suns forward Jared Dudley provided his opinion on the rumors via his Twitter account Thursday.  Does he have a point?

“I’m hearing all this chatter about CP3 to the Lakers and Pau to (Houston),” Dudley wrote. “I’m telling you now if they do that and don’t get Howard then (they’re) worse.”

If the Paul trade is indeed what Wojnarowski says it is, common sense would tell you the Lakers intend to use Bynum as a facilitator for adding Howard.  But what if it doesn’t happen?  If for some reason the Lakers are unable to pull off a trade for Superman, did they just make themselves worse?

L.A. has obviously improved their backcourt, but they would need to add a role player or two to compensate for their lack of size.  In fact, even if they trade for Howard they will still be smaller than they were last season, and front court depth has been one of their strengths.  Obviously exchanging Gasol, Odom, and Bynum for Paul and Howard yields more talent, but the Lakers are giving up an awful lot of size and depth in their front court.

Given Bynum’s injury history and inconsistency, the Lakers are now in a position where they have to find a way to acquire Howard.  If they can, they will immediately become the favorite to win it all this season and possibly for years to come — size or no size.

NBA GM: Magic Would Rather Let Dwight Howard Walk, No One Wants the Lakers’ Old Guys

Any team that decided to trade for a guy like Dwight Howard or Chris Paul would have to be fairly certain they will get the player they acquired to sign an extension. With Howard and Paul becoming free agents after this year, no team wants to give up a huge package just to rent their services for a year. One team that should have no problem signing either to an extension would be the Lakers, for obvious reasons. However, at this point it does not appear that L.A. has offered any type of package that would overwhelm the Magic into dealing Howard.

Amico is an NBA writer for FOX Sports, so his sources are likely trustworthy. With that in mind, we would have to assume the Lakers have not offered Andrew Bynum in exchange for Howard. Perhaps they are intending to use Bynum as the center piece of a deal with New Orleans, and someone like Pau Gasol qualifies as an “old guy” at age 31.

With rumors swirling that the Lakers are interested in adding both Paul and Howard, it is fair to raise the question of whether or not they have enough to offer to acquire both. Neither New Orleans nor Orlando is going to give their franchise superstar up without receiving a truckload in return, and how many first-round draft picks can the Lakers offer?  If L.A. does anything, the more likely scenario would be that they acquire one of the two via trade and the other via free agency next year, assuming he is not traded to another team.  At this point, however, it doesn’t appear that it would be reasonable to assume that about either player.

Deron Williams Says He’ll Re-sign with Nets if They Bring in Dwight Howard

Superstars in the NBA love to pair up.  Over the last several years, we have really had an opportunity to see that.  At the moment, we have no idea where guys like Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and Deron Williams are going to end up this year or next.  What we do know is that they won’t be the only superstar on the team they sign a contract extension with.  Paul may sign with the Knicks and play with Carmelo Anthony or he may pair up with Howard and sign elsewhere.  If the Magic acquire CP3, Howard may stay put.  The same can be said for Deron Williams, who insists he would re-sign with the Nets next season if they bring in Superman.

“In a perfect world, we’d get the players that we need for me to stay here,” Williams said according to The Record. “I’m excited about the opportunity to play in the new arena in Brooklyn – the move – I just think it would be a great place to play. So that’s what I’m hoping for. I have a strong feeling that I’ll re-sign here.”

That strong feeling would turn into a certainty if the Nets can pull off a trade with the Magic for Howard.

“That would be enough to convince me,” Williams said. “I’ve talked to (Howard) a lot. We’ve had some conversations. He knows I want to play with him. I don’t think there’s a player in the NBA who doesn’t want to play with Dwight Howard.”

Teams can begin signing free agents on Friday, and if the rumors we have heard so far are any indication it should be an absolute frenzy.  If teams want to add star power, they have to add or retain star power first.

Chris Paul Reportedly Requests Trade to Knicks, Wants to Team with Dwight Howard

It looks like Chris Paul has finally told the Hornets what we’ve known for a long time: he wants to play for the Knicks. Last summer at Carmelo Anthony’s wedding, CP3 reportedly had toasted to him, Amare, and Melo forming a Big Three in New York. Now that Paul’s entering the final year of his contract with New Orleans, he’s reportedly making it clear that this will be his last year playing for them.

Paul’s agent reportedly told the Hornets that his client won’t sign an extension with them, and that he wants to play with the Knicks. Yahoo! Sports also reports that Paul reached out to Dwight Howard, who will also be a free agent, to say they need to figure out a way to play together.

The problem in this scenario is that it would be difficult for the Knicks to add both players, let alone Paul. The Knicks already have nearly $40 million committed to Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire next season, and the price rises the following few years. They wouldn’t be able to offer Paul maximum money, so they’d have to get creative in order to sign him.

If Paul prioritizes playing with Dwight Howard over playing for the Knicks, that might be easier to arrange. For starters, the Lakers reportedly are interested in adding both players, and have the assets to make reasonable trade offers to the Magic and Hornets, respectively.

As we said in February, the Knicks could compete with the Heat if they landed Paul or Deron Williams, the other top point guard who will be available. And if the Lakers got both players, they might be the favorite to win the title.

Lakers Reportedly Interested in Adding Chris Paul and Dwight Howard

With the NBA offseason having been shortened significantly, we can expect the rumor mill to be churning out stories at three times the usual rate. After all, this thing has to be sorted out within a month. Any rumor is a possibility, so writers are going to print it. That being said, the Lakers are reportedly interested in acquiring both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. While that is nothing more than a rumor at this point, they could conceivably pull it off.

As former Lakers beat writer Mark Heisler wrote on SheridanHoops.com Tuesday, making both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol available could put the Lakers in the running to land Paul and Howard via trade. It should also be noted that Howard was asked last season which All-Star he’d most like to play with to which he responded, “Kobe Bryant.” Not that anyone would have to be convinced to go to the Lakers, anyway.

Of course, the Nets and Clippers are both expected to make serious offers for Howard with the rest of the NBA also testing the waters. CP3 is reportedly drawing interest from the Celtics as well, who could offer Rajon Rondo as part of a package. Boston has also been mentioned a few times in the Howard discussion.

For those wondering how the next Big Three of Kobe, Super Man, and CP3 would work out financially, look no further than the Lakers’ new television contract that will kick in next season.  The NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement is particularly harsh with regard to the luxury tax, but L.A.’s profit is expected to skyrocket with the new deal in place.  As Heisler pointed out, when the Lakers begin their 20-year, $3 billion contract with Time Warner they will be making $150 million a year from their television deal as opposed to $30 million before.  Their annual profit, which was $45-60 million, could climb as high as $170 million annually.

In other words if it’s possible, they can afford it.  A core of Bryant, Howard, and Paul would be a nice way to kick off the post-Phil Jackson era.

H/T to CBSSports.com’s Eye on Basketball Blog for the story