Trade rumors are already flying even though the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement has not been officially voted in.
The NBA has not even been given the green light to conduct business and already the wheels and possible deals are turning.
The biggest news coming out of the NBA on Wednesday is that the New Jersey Nets are trying to put together a package that will convince the Orlando Magic to trade unhappy center Dwight Howard, according to reports. It might make sense since there are strong indications Howard will walk regardless after this season when he becomes a free agent.
The Boston Celtics are also believed to be interested in working a trade that will land them New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul in exchange for Rajon Rondo. But the hitch is Paul has told people he will not sign a long-term deal with the Celtics, according to ESPN.com. That would all but kill the deal because the Celtics wouldn’t want to deal Rondo for a player who isn’t committed for the long haul.
There could, however, be some movement on the Howard to the Nets front. New Jersey is looking for a way to convince free agent point guard Deron Williams to remain with the team once the lockout is officially over and the best way is by bringing in a post player the caliber of Howard.
Orlando general manager Otis Smith told the Orlando Sentinel on Wednesday that while he wants to keep Howard, he is open to listening to offers. The Nets are reportedly looking to send Brook Lopez and two future first round draft picks in exchange for Howard and Hedo Turkoglu’s $35 million contract.
“I think you have to look at everything,” Smith said when was asked if he'd consider trading Howard. “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.”
But before any of this can take place, the lockout will have to officially end. The players and owners have agreed in principle to a new collective bargaining agreement, but neither side has put it to an official vote to the general bodies.
Once the new CBA is voted on players are expected to report to camp and teams can sign free agents and make trades on Dec. 9. But teams can begin talking with agents and allowing players to work out at the NBA arenas on Thursday. The season is tentatively slated to tip off Dec. 25.
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