NBA Free Agency Period Is Winding Down But Dwight Howard Is Still In Orlando

on July 12 2012 2:48 PM
NBA Free Agency Period Is Winding Down But Dwight Howard Is Still In Orlando

After days of reports and rumors, on June 11, clubs were finally able to officially make moves and many of them did, but the biggest talent on the potential dealing block, All-Star center Dwight Howard, stayed with the Magic.

Talks of a four-team trade deal collapsed when Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan ruled out a transfer to the Nets, Howard's preferred destination.

"Anything is possible, but with the talks that we have had up to this point there is probably not a whole lot there," Hennigan said of reviving a Nets deal for Howard.

Hennigan believes such a trade would not be in the Magic's best interest, even though Howard could play out a final season and leave on his own terms in another year. Hennigan said that when he told Howard about his decision, the star big man was 'conversational, respectful, professional and business-like.'

The Magic are still looking for a new coach, with Hennigan believing a hire could come as quickly as next week. Hennigan said he has spoken with other clubs about obtaining Howard, a list that reportedly includes the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers.

"The priorities that we have are sort of fluid," he said. "I really don't have an answer for X, Y and Z because it's not that simple. It's a mixture of the things based on the variables and the things that exist out there."

Other important free agency news include former Phoenix Suns point guard, Steve Nash. In an unforeseen twist that could thrust the Los Angeles Lakers straight back into title contention, two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash has successfully negotiated a sign-and-trade deal from the Phoenix Suns to the Lakers that will team him up with Kobe Bryant.

Sources told ESPN.com that Nash, with the New York Knicks also pressing hard to complete a similar sign-and-trade deal, was swayed to join the Lakers after a determined push from Bryant and because the move keeps him in the title hunt and allows him to stay in close proximity to his three children in Phoenix.

Nash will receive a three-year deal for an estimated $27 million because the Suns ultimately agreed to sign-and-trade him to the Lakers, who can absorb Nash via the trade exception they created by dealing Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks in December.

In return, the Suns get four draft picks -- first rounders in 2013 and 2015 and second rounders in 2013 and 2014.

Former Boston guard Ray Allen and Washington forward Rashard Lewis joined Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James with the Miami Heat. The Miami Herald reported Allen rejected a two-year deal worth $12 million [with the Boston Celtics] to sign with the Heat for $6.3 million over two years. Allen won his lone NBA crown in 2008 with Boston and star teammates Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

"I contributed a great deal to the organization in Boston and they have been so good to me and my family. I was thinking 'Is Miami going to be a good fit for me?'" Allen said. "There was a moment. I talked to the people around me and they said change is not bad. It was that moment I said this was going to be a great opportunity for me."

Allen is the NBA's all-time leader in three-point baskets and has a career average of 20.0 points a game over 1,148 games with Milwaukee, Seattle and Boston.

Rashard Lewis, a 14-year NBA veteran, took a $1.35-million minimum salary to leave the Wizards, who had the second worst record in the NBA last season. He has career averages of 16.1 points and 5.6 rebounds a game. "Everybody sets goals over their career and my next goal is obviously to try to win a championship," Lewis said. "The ball can't bounce forever."

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin signed a multi-year extension worth a reported $95 million over five years. He has averaged 21.7 points and 11.5 rebounds a game over two seasons with the Clippers.

Also making his new deal official was Deron Williams, who signed with the Nets for $98 million over five years.

Tim Duncan inked a three-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs worth about $34 million, one that should make true the 36-year-old forward's playoff claim of being a "Spur for life."

"Tim Duncan has established himself as one of the best players in NBA history," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "His impact on the Spurs can't be measured. We are all grateful for the leadership and dedication Tim has shown. "He is an unselfish superstar who loves to compete and has only one goal when he steps on the court -- to do whatever it takes to help his team win. We are all thrilled that he'll spend his entire career as a San Antonio Spur."

Duncan, a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, has career averages of 20.3 points and 11.3 rebounds a game over 15 seasons, four of them which ended with NBA crowns for the Spurs.