Today’s biggest piece of comes news from Orlando, via the Sentinel’s Josh Robbins, that Magic general manager Otis Smith has not yet received a single trade offer for Dwight Howard.
But he should start getting those calls shortly, especially after saying he will look at all options.
“I think you have to look at everything,” Smith told the Orlando Sentinel when asked if he’d consider dealing Howard to another team. “I don’t think you can take anything out of consideration. I think, one, you have to talk to your player first. We have to figure out where his head is, not where everyone thinks his head is, and just more figure out where he wants to be. And then you have to make the best decision of what’s in the best interests of the franchise. That’s how I’ve always went about it: to make the best decision that’s in the best interests of the Orlando Magic.
The first thing Smith needs to do is sit down with Howard himself to get a reading of what Dwight feels his future holds. And while Smith can speak to Dwight’s agent, he cannot yet speak to Howard himself.
“I think you have to wait and leave all that up in the air. I don’t think you can say you will or you won’t [trade] at this point, because you don’t know what you don’t know. I can speculate based on what I read and hear, but that’s really not fair to Dwight and it’s not fair to us,” Smith told the Sentinel. “So you have to have a conversation with him about what he wants to do, and then you have to make the best decision that’s in the best interests of the franchise, as always.”
Mark Heisler broke the news here Monday that the Lakers are going to make a push for BOTH Howard and Chris Paul, and a number of rumors have popped up in recent days involving other teams.
From Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “New rules on free agency and trades that blunt the advantage of sign-and-trades and diminish extensions teams can offer their impending free agents have forced the Orlando Magic to weigh their options with Dwight Howard much sooner than they expected. Among the chatter Wednesday was a growing belief among league executives that Howard’s situation will have a domino effect on free-agent big men like Nene, Tyson Chandler and Marc Gasol (who is restricted). Magic GM Otis Smith told the Orlando Sentinel that he’s not ruling out trading Howard but that he won’t make any decisions before speaking with the All-Star center, who has an opt-out after the season. Players will be permitted to train on their own at team practice facilities Thursday, but still cannot speak with or work with team personnel. It’s no surprise to anyone that the Lakers will be one of the primary suitors in a possible trade for Howard, and a person with knowledge of the team’s strategy told CBSSports.com that executive Jim Buss finally has dropped his opposition to trading center Andrew Bynum “for the right deal.” That’s code for “a deal for Dwight Howard,” and it’s clear from those familiar with Howard’s thinking that he’d like to join the Lakers. Bynum may or may not be on the Magic’s list of suitable replacements for Howard in a potential deal that also would have to include young players on rookie contracts and draft picks. The Bucks’ Andrew Bogut may be a better fit, a notion that has conjured speculation in the agent community of a three-team deal that would land Bynum in Milwaukee, Bogut in Orlando and Howard in L.A. The Lakers’ arena mates at Staples Center, the Clippers, also are believed to be willing to do whatever it takes to get Howard. The Clips have both the cap space to land Howard next summer and plenty of assets to entice Orlando, including Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and a signed-and-traded DeAndre Jordan. Cap-space and asset-wise, few teams are in as good a shape as the Clippers over the next two years.