|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NBAWith the NBA All Star Break this weekend, the media has been intensely focused on – no, not Jeremy Lin – but Dwight Howard.
Well, they have been focused on Jeremy Lin and Dwight Howard, which is still a stark contrast to the single-minded focus on Linsanity the sports media had leading up to the break. But every All-Star weekend brings up a new free agent media frenzy, while reminding us of the previous ones.
Last year, the big talk around the NBA was all about Carmelo Anthony and where he would be traded to. The Denver Nuggets knew he was leaving and wanted to trade him away before he left in free agency, resulting in no gains for Denver besides the salary cap space. Eventually, the New York Knicks traded away most of their team for Anthony, and the media hype subsided as the Knicks fell into mediocrity. That is, until Jeremy Lin came off the bench.
Two years ago, the talk was incessantly about LeBron James and whether he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers or not. We all know how that one played out as James took his talents to South Beach, he predicted 7 championship rings, and the Miami Heat became the most vilified team in the NBA, if not in the sports world as a whole, for an entire season until coming up short in the Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.
Dwight Howard is the focus this year, and the Orlando Magic still seem undecided on whether he will be traded before the March 15 trade deadline, or if they will stick out the rest of the season with him, watching him leave in the summer. However, the Magic are allowing Howard's agent to speak with the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks about possible trades.
The big reason the Magic have kept a hold on Howard for this long is most likely the fact that the All-Star Game will be played in Orlando, and the franchise has an interest in keeping Howard playing for the Magic as their hometown All Star. This is the first time Orlando has hosted the Game in 20 years, and having one of the most desirable players in the league can only make the Magic look better. They would also not want Howard coming back to Orlando wearing another team's jersey.
So Howard will probably be traded by the deadline. The Magic have just wanted to save face up to this point and make their city and their team appear as powerful as possible for this weekend. Now that it will be over in a couple of days, look for the trade rumors to intensify.