Friday, July 20, 2012

Dwight Howard deal still up in air

As of now, center Dwight Howard remains with the Orlando Magic, but the team is still searching for the best deal to make in trading him and remains active in doing that.

Whether it was former general manager Otis Smith or new GM Rob Hennigan, just two weeks on the job, the Magic have been patient while knowing Howard wants out and the Brooklyn Nets are his preferred team.

Throughout, the Magic have focused on getting first-round picks, younger, talented players and salary cap relief.

Tuesday afternoon, the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers re-emerged as potential trade partners, a person familiar with negotiations told USA TODAY Sports.

The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about ongoing negotiations.

The person cautioned that nothing is imminent, just as Monday's trade talks among the Magic, Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers were exploratory.

The Magic continue to preach patience, looking for the best deal they can get for the All-Star center.

The Cavaliers seemed to be involved as a conduit team for the Magic and Nets to make a deal happen, but any involvement on their part had not advanced beyond exploratory in nature, a person familiar with negotiations told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday.

The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about ongoing negotiations.

Another person familiar with trade discussions for Howard told USA TODAY Sports that Orlando was never exclusively talking to the Nets. The Magic are and have been listening to other teams and trying to maximize the assets they get in exchange for Howard, this person said, also under condition of anonymity while negotiations are ongoing.

When Cleveland's interest in being part of a complicated multi-team deal seemed to wane, the Charlotte Bobcats were approached about the possibility of stepping into the deal and taking free-agent forward Kris Humphries, who played for the Nets last season, this person told USA TODAY Sports.

Humphries is not the only roadblock to a deal, but he is one of them. He signed a one-year contract for 2011-12 and is looking for something in the three-year, $24 million-$27 million range. He averaged 13.8 points and 11 rebounds for Brooklyn last season.

His agent, Dan Fegan, is also Howard's agent, and Fegan is trying to work deals that appease both clients.

Cleveland and Charlotte weren't interested in a guaranteed three-year deal for Humphries, and Humphries isn't thrilled with another one-year deal.


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