Report: Four-team Howard deal close… unless it is not
The Dwight Howard Tilt-A-Whirl started spinning again today and we all just want to get off.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard a complex four-team deal to ship Dwight Howard to the Lakers is “close.”
The teams involved include Lakers, Magic, Nuggets and 76ers. There are a lot of scenarios flying around out there, but the primary framework of the deal has Howard and Al Harrington going to the Lakers; Pau Gasol and Arron Afflalo end up in Orlando; Andre Iguodala lands with the Nuggets; and Andrew Bynum becomes a member of the 76ers.
Except that ESPN’s Ric Bucher is reporting that Pau Gasol is not part of the deal being discussed. Which is to say there are a lot of scenarios being discussed, and that’s not a sign that things are imminent.
There are plenty of other signs that this deal is not that close. Among those are reports that as of a few hours a go the agents for Bynum and Horford had not been contacted. In the case of Bynum, who would be an unrestricted free agent after next season, you can bet there will be some feeling out to see if he would sign on to stay past the end of his deal in whatever city he was shipped to.
Still, things seem to be discussions and things moving forward a little.
Of course, we’ve been here before — remember that three-team deal with the Cavaliers and Lakers that was close? Exactly.Another reason to take these reports with a grain of salt — the Magic are not feeling pressured to make a deal just to get it done. Here is what Magic CEO Alex Martins told Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated on Tuesday. You tell me if he sounds like a guy who is impatient.
“We have very specific goals as to what we would hope to achieve if we were to trade Dwight, OK?” said Martins.... “We acknowledge and are realistic about the fact that you’re never going to get equal value in return for Dwight Howard. But if we were to trade him, we have three primary goals that we’re trying to achieve and in the end, any deal that’s proposed to us I think we’ve been very clear about the fact about the goals of what we’re trying to achieve.
“We have never delineated from that. Some may think that we have, but we have not. Clearly, when we find the right combination of pieces that we’re looking for in return, that will determine whether we make a deal or not.”
Does this deal really sound like they are getting everything they want? Pau Gasol (who would be flipped in another trade probably near the deadline) and Arron Afflalo, plus some picks and parts?
We can have a discussion of whether or not they can really reach all their goals — teams are not making huge offers now and James Dolan isn’t coming in to boost the offer at the last minute. You can argue that the deals are not going to get better for Orlando. Sure, they would love young players and picks and to get rid of Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu, but asking for all of it may be too much.
There is a real deadline out there, but it is not until the trade deadline in February. It’s not that soon.
Orlando’s management really care how sick of the Tilt-A-Whirl you are, they are going to keep the ride going until they get what they want and choose to get off. On their terms.
That may or may not happen in the next few days.