Howard wants out of Orlando
By RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency
|Magic centre Dwight Howard reacts a victory against the Heat in Miami, Fla., March 3, 2011. (JOE SKIPPER/Reuters)
TORONTO - Dwight Howard wants to play in New Jersey.
Chris Paul might become a Laker after all.
There certainly has not been a shortage of off-court stories since the NBA lockout ended.
According to multiple reports, Howard, the league’s premier centre and most dominant defensive player, has requested a trade to the Nets.
Magic general manager Otis Smith confirmed Howard’s request to the Orlando Sentinel on Saturday afternoon but also has intimated that he will open the bidding to other teams.
Still, according to Yahoo! Sports, Howard is only interested in signing a long-term extension with the Nets — who made a bold trade for superstar point guard Deron Williams last season — which might lessen the return other teams were willing to give up.
The Nets will be moving to Brooklyn next season.
Brook Lopez and draft picks were believed to be the basis of New Jersey’s offer.
Howard would likely also accept a move to Los Angeles, which could offer Andrew Bynum, a better player than Lopez, but also far more prone to injuries.
Meanwhile, according to reports, the Lakers, New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets resubmitted a controversial three-team swap involving the likes of Chris Paul, Pau Gasol, Luis Scola, Lamar Odom and Kevin Martin.
NBA commissioner David Stern thwarted a completed deal on Thursday night, allegedly because the league-owned Hornets were not getting back enough young building blocks in return for the superstar guard Paul so the teams revised it.
In order to facilitate a monster sign-in-trade acquisition of centre Tyson Chandler, New York had to waive and use the amnesty provision on Chauncey Billups.
Billups was not happy.
“People take my kindness and professionalism for weakness. They think I’ll be OK with (getting claimed). I won’t be OK with this,” Billups told Yahoo! Sports.
“You’ll regret it. “I’m tired of being the glue guy,” Billups warned any team thinking about claiming him off of the waiver wire.
A return to Denver is considered Billups’ preference.
RIP HEADING TO BULLS?
Billups’ old teammate Rip Hamilton appears set to land in Chicago.
“Rip is a winner,” Bulls star Derrick Rose told reporters about Hamilton.
The move might take a few days to complete though.
AROUND THE RIM
Canadian national team member Andy Rautins moved from the Knicks to the Dallas Mavericks in the Chandler trade and Ronny Turiaf went to Washington. Dallas is trying to replace Chandler with Samuel Dalembert with the trade exception it acquired in the deal … Milwaukee matched Denver’s offer to restricted free agent Luc Richard Mbah a Moute … Mike Bibby will join the Knicks on a one-year deal … New Jersey remains a strong possibility to land Nene, should a Dwight Howard trade not happen. Houston is also after Nene, but might not be willing to meet his asking price … J.J. Barea won’t be back in Dallas, but might end up with the Knicks … Boston re-signed forward Jeff Green to a one-year, $9-million U.S. contract … Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe will miss six-to-eight weeks with a knee injury.