The biggest name in the NBA free agency period is still Dwight Howard, who won’t be a free agent until 2013. With the Brooklyn Nets desperately trying to find a trade that works, the proposed deal has now turned into a four-team deal, with the Nets using the Cavaliers and the Clippers to get Howard from the Orlando Magic.
So how does the current offer on the table work? The Nets would receive Howard, Jason Richardson, Chris Duhon and Earl Clark in the proposed deal. Richardson has spent the last couple of seasons in Orlando, averaging a career low 11.6 points last season. Duhon played 20 minutes a night off the bench, averaging 3.8 points and 2.4 assists per game. Clark came off the bench for the Magic, playing 12 minutes a night.
The Orlando Magic would get Brook Lopez, Luke Walton, Damion James, Shelden Williams, Armon Johnson, two first-round draft picks from the Nets and one lottery-protected pick from the Clippers. Walton hardly played for the Cavs last season. Damion James played in only 7 games for the Nets. Shelden Williams was a starter for the Nets for about half a season, averaging 4.6 points and 6 rebounds a game. Armon Johnson hardly got to play as well.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will get Kris Humphries, Quentin Richardson, Sundiata Gaines, a first-round draft pick from the Nets and $3 million in cash. The Clippers will get Marshon Brooks, who was on the All-Rookie second team last season. Richardson was a bit player for the Magic last season, while Gaines was the same for the Nets in 2011-2012.
The problem for the Nets? Lopez, Humphries, James, Williams, Johnson and Gaines would all have to agree to sign-and-trades to move them, which isn’t such a certain thing. The complicated hurdle of getting teams to go along with the deal is probably done with, and it seems like Humphries, a free agent, looks like the biggest obstacle at the moment.
The busiest team on a rather uneventful day were the New York Knicks. They re-signed Steve Novak, who led the NBA in three point shooting with 47.2%, on a four-year, $15 million deal. Novak never really expressed a desire to play anywhere else after his first season with the Knicks, averaging 8.8 points. Another player almost certain to return is J.R. Smith who played half a season for the Knicks and was an influential member off the bench, averaging 12.5 points in 27 minutes a night.
Smith will sign a two-year, $5.6 million deal, with a player option on the second year. This year Smith might be the starting shooting guard after Landry Fields agreed to a three-year, $20 million offer from the Toronto Raptors, something the Knicks aren’t expected to match. However, despite the initial rumors, the Knicks are now inclined to match the offer to Jeremy Lin (four years, $28.8 million) after it looked their rising point guard will be going to the Houston Rockets. Another returner for the Knicks, although with quite a few years in between his appearances, is veteran center Marcus Camby.
Camby will arrive via a sign-and-trade with the Houston Rockets, with his contract being a three-year, $13.2 million deal. The Rockets will receive Toney Douglas, Jerome Jordan, Josh Harrellson and two second-round picks in 2014 and 2015. Camby played for the Knicks between 1998-2002. He was part of the team that reached the 1999 NBA finals, losing to the San Antonio Spurs.
In our final ‘restricted’ news of the day, Roy Hibbert will remain with the Indiana Pacers next season. The Pacers were tentative about matching the Portland Trail Blazers offer for Hibbert – four years and $58 million, but eventually decided that his presence was a big part of the Pacers’ 42-24 season, making it to the Eastern conference semifinals. Hibbert averaged career highs in points (12.8) and rebounds (8.8) last season.