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News  


Clock keeps ticking on NBA trading deadline


PhilBoxing.com


Although not quite the thief in the night --- sudden, cruel and unexpected --- the annual trading deadline is closing in on all NBA teams, especially those who have to make the toughest decisions that could affect their franchises for years.

And, surprise, surprise, it's the Orlando Magic who tops the list.


At the very center of their on-going circus is center Dwight Howard, a young 6-foot-11, 265-pound beast among men. Howard is arguably the best big man in the NBA right now, a double-double machine who is plowing through the season with averages of 20.9 points and 15 rebounds per game.

But his tenure with Orlando this year has been a season of discontent as the 26-year old behemoth had consistently and vehemently demanded a trade. Howard had publicly declared the Los Angeles Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks and the New Jersey Nets as possible destinations.

But the question beckons: Would the Magic be better off trading their best asset than keeping a pouting, unhappy superstar?

That question doesn't even have to be answered by March 15, the NBA trading deadline. But by doing so, the Magic could lose Howard via unrestricted free agency in July without getting anything in return.

No other team can give Howard more money, which is in range of tens of millions. That kind of dough might lure him to stay put. But Howard's eagerness to play for a team that can seriously contend for a championship trumps that.

After all, Howard has already made a considerable fortune after 7 years in the league. His salary this season alone is a staggering $18,091,770. And he has endorsement deals on the side, too, prominently with shoe giant Adidas.

If a blockbuster deal breaks the news cycle in the next few days, chances are it would involve Howard.

Other teams that have tough decisions looming include the Lakers in Los Angeles, where Pau Gasol has been on the trade rumor mill for weeks.

Now 31, Gasol isn't exactly in his prime, but the 7-foot power forward clearly still has a lot left in the tank as manifested by his 16.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per game average this season. To trade Gasol's skills set and invaluable championship experience is perplexing. But then again, these are the very same Lakers who basically gave away Lamar Odom for free last December.

Rajon Rondo, the terrific Boston Celtics guard, has reportedly been "actively shopped" for a trade. But given how Rondo has played in recent weeks, including one where he burned the Knicks for a triple-double that showcased 18 points, 20 assists and 17 rebounds, it's safe to say Rondo isn't going anywhere.

But will two-time MVP Steve Nash stay in the valley of the Suns?

That and many more questions will be answered in a few exhilirating days. (Scott Au)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Scott Au.


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