Friday, July 27, 2012

NBA : Dwight Howard nightmare continues

Source : Yahoo Sports

 As appealing trade scenarios for his franchise player shrink, Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan's mission of beginning to build trust with All-Star center Dwight Howard was met with an unmistakable response in a Wednesday meeting: Howard continues to rule out a future with the Magic, and wants a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers before the start of the season, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

"Dwight remained unchanged in his want to be traded," a source with knowledge of the meeting said. "And he has no intention of signing another contract extension with Orlando."

Without a deal that would deliver him to the Lakers in the near future, sources said Howard wants Henningan to revisit trade talks with the Brooklyn Nets in January, when center Brook Lopez is eligible to be traded. If deals don't surface with the Lakers or Nets, Howard plans to sign with the Dallas Mavericks as a free agent in the summer of 2013.

While the Lakers and Nets won't have the salary cap space to sign Howard, nor the opportunity to execute a sign-and-trade deal under new CBA rules, the Mavericks will be flush with cap space next summer. Mavs owner Mark Cuban plans to make a run at Howard, and potentially another star player, to join Dirk Nowitzki.

 For Howard, that threat continues to make it difficult for Orlando to attract trade suitors willing to unload valuable assets for a superstar likely to be a rental player for only several months. Despite the Houston Rockets' determination to trade for Howard and convince him to stay long term, Howard's camp has repeatedly warned Houston owner Les Alexander and GM Daryl Morey that they will lose Howard to rival Dallas in free agency next July, sources said.

Hennigan and Orlando assistant Scott Perry flew to Los Angeles on Wednesday and met with Howard and his representatives for about two hours. When told that the Magic had tried to honor his desire to be moved, Howard probed Hennigan on why the GM hadn't accepted deals that could've sent him to the Nets or Lakers before those teams used valuable trade assets to acquire Joe Johnson and Steve Nash respectively.

Hennigan has insisted that no proposed deal has been satisfactory and the franchise has shown some willingness to take its time to see what offers develop. Nevertheless the rental market for Howard is lean and the Lakers used two first-round picks in the sign-and-trade deal for Nash. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston are willing to be third-team trade partners for the Magic and Lakers in deals that would send them All-Star center Andrew Bynum.


Before even one game of the Spurs’ 2012-13 season is contested, Tim Duncan already has made a significant contribution to the team’s success.

By accepting an $11.5 million cut from the $21.15 million salary he earned last season, Duncan enabled the club to re-sign its most coveted free-agent players, add 2009 draftee Nando De Colo and still drop below the NBA’s projected luxury-tax threshold for next season.

According to contract figures that have been officially released to all NBA teams, Duncan will be paid $9.64 million in the first season of the three-year deal he signed July 11.

After being the third-highest paid player in the league last season, behind only Lakers star Kobe Bryant ($25.24 million) and Boston’s Kevin Garnett ($21.25 million), Duncan next season will be the fourth-highest paid Spur.

All player salaries last season were pro-rated to account for the 66-game post-lockout season.

Veteran guard Manu Ginobili, at $14.1 million, will be San Antonio’s highest-paid player next season, followed by All-NBA point guard Tony Parker ($12.5 million), veteran guard-forward Stephen Jackson ($10.06 million) and Duncan.

A two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, the 36-year-old Duncan will see his salary rise to $10.36 million for the 2013-14 season. The team captain is guaranteed $10 million for the 2014-15 season, but he has an opt-out clause.

After the NBA’s moratorium on free-agent contract signings ended July 11, the Spurs in short order announced they had new agreements with Duncan, veteran big man Boris Diaw, guard Danny Green and point guard Patty Mills.

The club also signed De Colo, currently in London with the French national team for the Olympic tournament that begins Sunday.

The official details of Green’s contract call for the shooting guard from North Carolina to receive $3.5 million next season, $3.76 million in 2013-14 and $4.03 million in 2014-15. Green, who came to training camp last season without a guaranteed deal, started 38 games last season. He made 43.6 percent of his 3-point attempts, eighth-best in the league, and averaged 9.1 points per game.

Diaw, signed March 23 after being bought out of the remainder of a $9 million contract with the Charlotte Bobcats, signed to a two-year deal that will start at $4.5 million next season and jump to $4.69 million in 2013-14.

Mills, the Australian-born veteran who joined the Spurs late last season, will be paid $1.09 million next season under terms of the deal he signed July 13. The second year of Mills’ deal, at the team’s option, is at $1.14 million.

De Colo’s two-year contract is for $1.4 million next season and $1.46 million in 2013-14.

The five recent signings give the Spurs 14 players with guaranteed contracts for next season, at a total of $69.13 million. That is safely beneath the projected luxury-tax threshold, unchanged from last season’s $70.307 million.

The Spurs are reported to have exceeded last season’s tax threshold by $2.5 million.


The Miami Heat will open the defense of their NBA title at home against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, Oct. 30.

It will be a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals, along with the Heat debut of former Celtics guard Ray Allen. Allen is scheduled to return to Boston for the first time on Jan. 27.

The full regular-season schedule was released Thursday, with the Lakers playing host to the Mavericks and the Wizards visiting the Cavaliers the other two games on opening night.

Jeremy Lin's debut with the Houston Rockets will come at Detroit the following night, along with eight more games.

The NBA created another compelling matchup with the Brooklyn Nets playing their first regular-season game in their new arena against the Knicks on Nov. 1. The Oklahoma City Thunder travel to the San Antonio Spurs the same night in a rematch of the Western Conference Finals.

Other highlights of the schedule include:

--Miami will play host to Oklahoma City on Christmas Day in a rematch of the NBA Finals. There will be four other games that day, including the Knicks at the Lakers as part of ABC's doubleheader.

--Miami is scheduled to play at the Knicks during the opening week of the season, Nov. 2 on ESPN. The other matchup in the doubleheader is the Clippers at the Lakers.

--Former Suns guard Steve Nash will make his first return to Phoenix when the Lakers visit on Jan. 30. His first game against his former team will be in Los Angeles on Nov. 16.

--The regular season will conclude on April 17, 2013, with the playoffs beginning three days later.

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