Not only does the potential deal feature several free agents being signed and then traded to different teams, but it never really made sense for the Magic in the first place. Sure, they’d be acquiring several picks and general manager Rob Hennigan has a track record of success in the draft, but if you added Howard to a team that already features Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace, you’re looking at picks in the mid to late 20′s. Plus, the only player worth hanging onto in the potential trade would be Lopez, who is coming off a foot injury and has really struggled both defensively and on the boards in his career. Plus, his shooting percentage has gotten worse every season he’s been in the league.
It just doesn’t look like a good deal from the Magic’s perspective.
However, the Nets still appeared to remain the heavy favorite to land Howard.
Over the past few hours, things may have changed.
Per our buddy Alex Kennedy of Hoops World, the Cleveland Cavaliers are “having second thoughts” and “may back out.” Keep in mind Kennedy does mention that both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Charlotte Bobcats could help facilitate the deal.
On Monday evening, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo reported the Rockets were still trying to “entice the Orlando Magic to engage in talks.”
Howard the Dunk has learned the Rockets are making a “hard push” to land Howard.
When the Rockets dealt Marcus Camby to the New York Knicks in a sign-and-trade Monday, they acquired Toney Douglas, who has an expiring contract and Josh Harrellson, who has an unguaranteed deal this season. Jerome Jordan, who was also acquired by the Rockets, has the same deal as Harrellson. The Rockets have already dealt point guard Kyle Lowry, who has one of, if not, the best non-rookie contract in basketball, but they still have their three first round picks from this year in Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones. They have all stockpiled future draft picks and have the expiring contract of guard Kevin Martin.
Of course, the Nets are still the favorite to land Howard, but not nearly as heavy of a favorite as they were just a few hours ago.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)