The Los Angeles Lakers are considering an offer from the Orlando Magic that would send Dwight Howard to L.A. in exchange for Andrew Bynum, a source close to the situation tells PepperOnSports.com.

I know, I know.  You’ve heard it all before.  Here’s the fun part:

The source says the Lakers have informed one player that he might be part of the package deal and that he could be traded at any moment. 

The Lakers are “very interested” in acquiring Howard, according to the source. 

Depending on which hour you inquire about a Bynum-for-Howard swap dictates the type of news you’ll get regarding the topic, so your guess is as good as mine.  But as of Thursday afternoon pacific time, the Lakers front office phones were blazing hot with Howard chatter.   

Whether or not the trade happens, it sure is courteous of the Lakers to give players with trade-potential a heads up in hopes of making a tough transition smoother.  Stay classy, L.A. 

Follow me on twitter @Jackie_Pepper

 

The days leading up to the NBA Trade deadline are always fun, regardless of anything big actually going down on the final day, but because of the truncated season, this year’s deadline had a definite sense of urgency and it did not disappoint.  Let’s take a look at the most important moves that were made on March 15.

NON-TRADE NOISEMAKERS

Orlando:

Not moving Dwight Howard was likely a bad move on the Magic’s behalf.  Orlando locked up the All-Star center for another year and as a result holding court, have some money to bring in a good player in the offseason.  The problem is that Orlando now finds themselves in a “catch-22” situation.  A top-notch free agent won’t want to commit to the Magic long-term if they think Howard will only be around for their first year with the team.  On the other hand, Howard sure as hell won’t sign a long term extension if he’s set to be the only marquee player on the roster for the next few years.  Even if  the Magic put up the money to bring in another big name guy while simultaneously paying Howard, who knows if he would even want to stay in Orlando.  It seems like he is “over it.” 


Boston:

Bill Russell ain’t walkin through that door this season, therefor the Celtics stayed put, making no moves at the deadline.  Trading All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo would’ve been pointless even if Boston would’ve landed a big man like Dwight Howard in return because who would get him the ball with Rondo gone? 

Sure, the Celtics could’ve moved any one of the Big 3, but at this point, they can’t get an All-Star player in return for any part of their aging former-championship nucleus.

The good news is that the Big 3 will stay together for the rest of the season and make a run for it in the playoffs.  The bad news is that I just don’t think they are strong enough to survive based on their lack of depth down low.  The Celtics will likely buy out the injured Jermaine O’Neal’s contract and fellow big Chris Wilcox is out for the remainder of the season with a heart ailment.  That leaves my main man Greg Stiemsma all alone down low, battling the bigs of the Eastern Conference, night in and night out.  YIKES.

Head coach Doc Rivers said he still hopes to sign a big man but he knows that is a tall order at this point in the season (no pun intended).  Perhaps Rasheed Wallace really will walk through that door this year.  We’ll see. 


Minnesota:

The Timberwolves went nowhere fast on Thursday.  Apparently, they were a few minutes away from moving Michael Beasley to the Lakers, but that fell through and now they are stuck with an inconsistent forward and no replacement for the injured Ricky Rubio.  I’ve been on the TWolves bandwagon from the second Rubio agreed to cross the Atlantic and the team drafted the fantastic Derrick Williams out of Arizona.  That said, unless J.J. Barrea morphs back into the feisty, clutch guard we watched win a title with the Mavericks last year, I’m afraid this season will finish in disappointing fashion for Minnesota. 

NBA SHUFFLE

Denver: 

The Nuggets shipped center Nene to the Wizards for fellow-bigs JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf (who will likely be bought out).  This one is puzzling for a few reasons.  The Nuggets re-upped Nene’s contract not that long ago, paying him a boatload of money and he has responded by having a career year, averaging 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.  While he has struggled with injury and illness in the past, he seems to be healthy now so this move is a tad confusing. 

McGee is UBER talented, frequently making ESPN’s Top 10 Plays highlight reel.  Problem is, he nearly stars in the Not Top 10 reel just as often!  McGee has a ton of talent and a LOT of growing up to do.  I could be judging him a bit harshly, but I feel like McGee is that guy who will just never “get it.”  I hope I’m wrong because if his maturity could match his physical talent, this guy would be unstoppable and could easily take the Nuggets to an elite level.  Unfortunately, McGee has yet to prove that capability. 

Meanwhile the wompwomp Wizards are getting a solid player who won’t cause controversy the way McGee did which should be beneficial for this team that has some young talent but needs leadership and stability. 


Lakers, Cavs & Rockets…oh my!:

This one is interesting, and I think I like it.  I didn’t want so see the Lakers part with Pau Gasol unless they were getting an All-Star caliber player in return.  The Lakers were in fairly desperate need of a point guard (see: Hornets & Chris Paul… or lack thereof) so getting Ramon Sessions, who averaged 10.5 points and 5.2 assists as Kyrie Irving’s BACKUP in Cleveland seems like a happy medium. 

The Lakers also acquired shooting guard Christian Eyenga (who has spent most of the season in the D League) from the Cavs and power forward Jordan Hill from the Rockets, who is averaging 5 points and nearly 5 rebounds per game, which makes him a nice supplement/backup to Gasol on the wing and down low.  In giving up Fisher, Luke Walton and Jason Kapono, it’s not like the Lakers lost a lot of offensive firepower, making Sessions and Hill reasonable additions to the team. 

The Lakers did give up two draft picks, which is basically the only thing making these trades beneficial to both the Rockets and Cavaliers.  Walton and Kapono should add some veteran juice to the Cavs who will look to use the draft pick to keep building around the young Irving.  The Rockets also got rid of big money by dumping the contract of Hasheem Thabeet  (sending him to Portland) which will help them in the long run.


San Antonio, Milwaukee and Golden State:

The Spurs added shooting guard Stephen Jackson in exchange for Richard Jefferson and a draft pick.  I don’t get this one at all for the Spurs.  Word on the street though is that the Rockets will likely buy out Derek Fisher’s contract, thus making him available as a free agent and supposedly, San Antonio would be interested.  I could see Fish fitting in well in San Antonio, although I doubt he’s enough to take this team deep into the playoffs. 

The Warriors unloaded their roster, losing the aforementioned Jackson, star shooting guard Monta Ellis, and centers Kwame Brown and Ekpe Udoh.  Obviously, Ellis jumps off the page as you have to wonder where the Warriors are going to get nearly 22 points and six assists per game from now that he’s gone.  Richard Jefferson and center Andrew Bogut combine for an average of about 21 points and six assists per game, so in theory, that’s where the production will come from, but perhaps the real steal for the Warriors is the first and second-round draft picks they acquired in these trades with the Spurs and Bucks.  It looks like many of the trades at this season’s deadline were more about looking toward to future than being practical here in the present. 


Portland & New Jersey:

The Trailblazers canned head coach Nate McMillan in addition to trading big man Marcus Camby and star forward Gerald Wallce.  In return, Portland picked up centers Mehmet Okur (often-injured) and Hasheem Thabeet along with point guard Johnny Flynn and small forward Shawne Williams.  The Blazers also got a first and second-round draft pick along with unloading Greg Oden (which sadly, is of no real consequence to anyone but him, personally). 

The only reason I see this trade making any sense whatsoever is because the Blazers wanted the draft picks, surely using the first-rounder to waste on yet another unhealthy big man. 

This one looks decent for the Nets though who now have a respectable starting lineup consisting of Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries.  I think Wallace is a nice building block for the Nets as they get ready for the big move to Brooklyn.

With the NBA Trade deadline rapidly approaching (March 15), the rumor mill is working spinning into overdrive.  Writers are providing daily updates consisting of  “inside information,” while players continue to claim they are ignoring the “reports,” and bloggers are making up fun, fantasy-like scenarios, Monopoly money-style. 

For the guys who are affected by trades in real life (aka the players), this deadline looms over everyone from the franchise players to the last man on the bench.  For the rest of us (whose living arrangements and careers aren’t affected), the trade deadline is a time to play G.M. and ponder all sorts of possibilities, rooted in either fact or fable.  Whether your trade ideas have any truth or validity behind them doesn’t much matter as everyone and their Mamas have the right to take a guess and hope for the best come March 15. 

Listed below is a compilation of “actual” rumors (which is kind of an oxymoron, but you get the point)  as well as random ideas floating through the interwebs and sports bar conversation pieces.  Without further ado, lets indulge in a few trade delights de jour:


Trades That Could Happen:

    •    Dwight Howard to any team that is willing to give away more than they should to rent the All-Star center for the rest of the season only.
    •    Pau Gasol to Houston for Kyle Lowrie and Luis Scola
    •    Baron Davis to LA Lakers for Devin Ebanks
    •    Elton Brand do anyone who will take his salary off the 76ers hands


Trades That Should Happen, But Won’t:

    •    Pau Gasol & Andrew Goudelock to Orlando for Jameer Nelson and Glen Davis
    •    Jamal Crawford and Kurt Thomas to Chicago for Kyle Korver Omer Asik
    •    Gilbert Arenas (Free Agent) to Oklahoma City as Russell Westbrook’s backup
    •    Metta World Peace and Devin Ebanks to Toronto for Jerryd Bayless
    •    Zaza Pachulia to the Celtics…somehow, some way, they could use him


Rumors & Random Trade/Free Agent Ideas:

    •    Ray Allen to Chicago for Ronnie Brewer and Richard Hamilton
    •    Ray Allen to LA Clippers for Eric Bledsoe, Randy Foye, Ryan Gomes and a second-round draft pick
    •    Steve Nash and Josh Childress to LA Lakers for Pau Gasol and a first-round draft pick