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NBA Trade Rumors and News Roundup
Presently, it seems that the Lakers and Nets are one and two in the race for Dwight Howard, although there are conflicting reports as to who is in the lead. Some assert that Howard is genuinely interested in sporting purple and gold in 2012, while others maintain that he is set on moving to Brooklyn with the Nets.
In Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, the Lakers have two more valuable trade chips than the Nets, because New Jersey would not be able to include Deron Williams in a trade package for D12—part of the Nets' appeal for Howard is the ability to play with Williams.
The Lakers, however, are not the only team in L.A. scrambling to make moves in the next month. The Clippers recently signed Kenyon Martin, are interested in acquiring J.R. Smith and are reportedly willing to trade PG Mo Williams.
Below you will find the latest trade rumors and news from around the league, including details on the previously mentioned deals:
* Ken Berger of CBS Sports: "Despite assertions to the contrary, the Lakers remain firmly on Howard's list of three teams he's asked to be traded to, along with the Nets and Mavericks, multiple people familiar with the situation said. The Lakers' clear preference is to trade Pau Gasol in a Howard deal and not Andrew Bynum, who was elected as an All-Star starter for the first time this week. League sources say Nets officials have remained in constant communication with Deron Williams and are encouraged by the All-Star point guard's improved take on the franchise's outlook. Though everyone involved acknowledges the Nets' dilemma: If New Jersey is unable to land Howard, it will be difficult to persuade Williams to join the team in Brooklyn next season. One league front-office source described the Nets as being in wait-and-see mode."
* Alex Kennedy of Hoopworld via the ESPN True Hoop Network: "The Nets are the front-runners. I do think he ends up on the Nets, at some point. I've been told by people in Dwight's life that he will be on the Nets, it's just a matter of how and when. Brooklyn's part of the draw, he definitely wants to go to a large market. Him and Deron are getting closer, which helps. He wants to create a legacy of his own without being a second fiddle… he wants help, but he wants to be the face of the franchise. Deron has done a good job selling it: 'you can be the face of the franchise.' Deron realizes that Dwight is a top-3 player in the game. He (Dwight) and Kobe had a conversation and Kobe basically told him 'you can come in here and be the third option behind me and Pau Gasol. You can be our Tyson Chandler and play defense and rebound."
* Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times: "The Clippers, still not done dealing after signing Kenyon Martin on Friday, will pursue guard J.R. Smith after the team he plays on in the Chinese Basketball Assn. finishes its season and he becomes eligible to play in the NBA, said a person not authorized to speak publicly on the matter."
* Ken Berger of CBS Sports: "Despite the Suns' struggles, Steve Nash has yet to express an interest in being traded, league sources said. But the organization will try to accommodate Nash's wishes if the 37-year-old foundation of the franchise decides he'd like a chance to compete for a championship with a contender. 'It's really on him in terms of what he wants to do or not do,' a person with knowledge of the situation said. Nash, who turns 38 next week, will be an unrestricted free agent July 1."
* Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports: "The Los Angeles Lakers have talked with the Cleveland Cavaliers about possibly acquiring guard Ramon Sessions, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. No deal is imminent, but the Lakers view Sessions as a candidate who could help their depleted backcourt. The Lakers are without injured guard Steve Blake, and have relied heavily on rookies Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris to play behind 37-year-old Derek Fisher. The Lakers have an $8.9 million trade exception, acquired from the Dallas Mavericks for Lamar Odom, to absorb salary. Sessions makes $4.3 million this season and has a player option for $4.6 million for the 2012-13 season."
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