SH Blog: Dwight Howard might not get traded, Kevin Love losing role with Team USA

After all the rumors and possible trade talks with the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers, the Orlando Magic appear to be holding off on dealing Dwight Howard. At this point, general manager Rob Hennigan appears to be as indecisive as his malcontent superstar center. See what the franchise has in mind, along with today’s transactions and updates on Team USA below:

  • Posturing or not, the Magic don’t appear ready to part with Dwight Howard any time soon, according to Chris Broussard: The Orlando Magic have told rival executives that they might not trade Dwight Howard after all, according to league sources. An executive who has had discussions with the Magic regarding Howard said Orlando only will trade the star center in a deal that is great for the franchise. The executive said this has been Orlando’s stance for the past “week or so.” Another executive who has talked with Orlando said he thinks the Magic may start the season with Howard and wait until the February trade deadline to move him. Each executive left the door open for posturing, noting that the Magic may be bluffing in hopes of coaxing better offers out of opposing teams. But the overriding sense is that Howard may not be moved for weeks, if not months. The Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets both covet Howard, but each team has come away from trade discussions thinking the Magic — at least for now — are not interested in trading the six-time All-Star, according to sources.
Nets have officially signed CJ Watson. He'll be introduced to the media tomorrow.
Stefan Bondy
  • Carmelo Anthony has worked with trainer Idan Ravin, who has helped the small forward shed 12 pounds since the end of the season, according to Jared Zwerling: “For Melo, that meant losing 12 pounds (he now roughly weights 239) and gaining more quickness — on top of his strength — thanks to renowned NBA trainer Idan Ravin, who’s worked one-on-one with nearly half of Team USA, including Kobe Bryant, LeBron James,Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin. That doesn’t include Dwyane Wade and Dwight Howard, who were left off the roster due to injuries.”
  • Team USA has not been impressive over its recent exhibition games against Brazil and Argentina, making Andres Nocioni doubt their ability to win gold in the Olympics, from Jason McIntyre: “Team USA put together another unimpressive performance in an Olympic exhibition, beating Argentina 86-80. On the heels of an at-times unimpressive victory over Brazil – after trailing by 10 in the first half – there’s mild cause for concern about the USA bringing home the Gold next month in England. Argentina cut the US lead to four in the 4th quarter, and afterward, Andres Nocioni had this to say about the Americans: “The U.S. team will have to work very hard for the gold medal and I’m not so sure they will get it.”
  • Kevin Love is supposed to be a big part of Team USA, but the All Star power forward could prove to become irrelevant if his play does not improve, according to our Chris Sheridan: “Memo to Kevin Love: If you don’t knock someone on their ass tomorrow, and if you continue to play as though you have a sense of entitlement rather than a job to do, you are going to be watching Anthony Davis take your minutes as the last big man off the bench. That advice is based on solid intel, because the powers that be at USA Basketball are not happy that the Kevin Love they came to appreciate two years ago in Turkey has somehow morphed into a Kevin Love who didn’t even leave his feet Sunday night when he got outworked for a rebound by Andres Nocioni in Team USA’s closer-that-it-should-have-been 86-80 victory over Argentina.
  • Jeremy Lin took  some time with Marcus Thompson II to talk about his offseason experience as well as Linsanity: “As he looks back on the craziest year he could imagine, Bay Area native Jeremy Lin had no choice but to concede to the truth of hindsight. He did let Linsanity go to his head. “If I’m being honest, in some ways, yes,” Lin told this newspaper in an exclusive interview. “I fought it every day. But I think subconsciously, it had its effect, everyone catering to you. People were saying only good things for so long that when people said negative stuff, it was like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on?’ ” After Lin signed a three-year, $25 million contract with Houston, a lot of negative stuff was said. He’s selfish. He’s all about the money. His ego is out of control. And, to top it off, many deemed him a basketball fluke who already has maxed out on the court. Despite it all, Lin is happy. He said he’s thankful for his time in New York, the ride of a lifetime. He said he’s eager about his future in Houston and the possibilities with his new team.”
  • LeBron James spoke with HoopsHype’s Jorge Sierra about his plan to utilize the post more moving forward: “You took fewer three-pointers this season. LJ: I just changed my approach. I decided to stay away from the three-point line and going to the post. Make it a little bit easier for myself and for my teammates. I got more and more comfortable going down there and it was a success. How do you think your game is going to evolve in upcoming seasons? Are you going to become more of a post player? LJ: I can see that happening. I feel very comfortable down there, more comfortable than I’ve ever felt in my career. So I would see myself down there a lot more, and work my game from there. You averaged almost 10 rebounds in the playoffs this year. Is it a goal for you to average 10 rebounds during the regular season? LJ: I’ve never set a statistical goal. I just don’t do that, I set team goals.”
Marco Belinelli's deal with the Bulls is for one year at the bi-annual exception of $1.96 million, sources say. The deal has been agreed to.
Ken Berger
  • The Bulls have also acquired veteran point guard Kirk Hinrich and will sign Nazr Mohammed, while deciding to let Omer Asik walk to the Houston Rockets. K.C. Johnson explains the reason behind the moves: “The move will be the first of many announced in the coming days. The Bulls will decline Omer Asik’s three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet from the Houston Rockets because they will be hard capped at $74.3 million while paying the luxury tax for the first time in history. By using a portion of the $5 million midlevel exception for Hinrich and earmarking the biannual exception of $1.9 million to sign Marco Bellinelli, it’s impossible for the Bulls to match even Asik’s $5 million starting salary and stay below $74.3 million. La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Belinelli’s deal will be two years for $3.8 million. Kenwood Academy product Nazr Mohammed will be signed to a one-year, $1.4 million deal to replace Asik, sources said. As for Hinrich, he turned down more years and money from the Milwaukee Bucks to return to the franchise that drafted him.”
  • Carlos Delfino is upset with the Milwaukee Bucks for their unwillingness to reach out to him, from HoopsHype: “I expected to have at least a conversation [with Milwaukee],” Delfino told HoopsHype. “I ended up aggravating my injury because I wanted to play with the Bucks. It hurts me a little bit that they have not even reached out to me. That’s life, things happen. I learned from the experience. Coach Scott [Skiles] and the owner [Herb Kohl] have been very good to me. The rest… I expected a little bit more. Sometimes you expect not to be rewarded, but to be recognized for your effort, playing through injury and doing things for the group… When that doesn’t happen, I don’t say that I feel betrayed, but I feel overlooked. Even though it’s a business, I think the general manager should have maintained the personal relationship and put value on other things aside from a contract. As a veteran player, I thought it was always good to play no matter what [despite the injuries] and so far it has only played to my disadvantage.”
  • Michael Beasley shared his thoughts about joining the Phoenix Suns and said he likes the team’s style of play. Perhaps he hasn’t heard about Steve Nash’s move to the Lakers. Here is a transcript of the interview, from Chris Fedor: “On what attracted him to Phoenix: “First it was the offense, the style of play and it kind of fits my game to a ‘T.’ Then it was the fact that Coach Gentry and the organization believes in me and still has confidence in my game. That made me feel good as a person and feel great as a player.” How he feels coming into this new situation in Phoenix: “It feels great. I actually feel great coming into a situation like that. I get a chance to not be the main guy but you know to be the go-to guy. Not just scoring but the go-to stopper and whatever my team needs, me to get a bucket or get a defensive stop, I feel good and confident that I can be that guy.”

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Kobe Bryant holds court in Barcelona

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