All-Defensive Team Named
Wednesday , May , 23 , 2012 Elijah Abramson

All-Defensive Team Named

LeBron is the leading vote-getter on the NBA All-Defensive team.

HoopsVibe's Very Quikc Call: Not sure he'd be my first pick, but he should definitely be on the squad.

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Saturday , Apr , 21 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard on back surgery: ‘It hurts (emotionally)’

“It hurts (emotionally),” Howard said. “That’s the first thing — it hurts. And then with people saying and thinking I’m quitting on my team. This is a real issue. I tried to play through it and it just made my back worse.” Howard has been complaining of back problems since early March, but it wasn’t until Los Angeles-based spine surgeon Dr. Robert Watkins examined him last week that the herniated disk was discovered. Howard received an epidural to alleviate the pain at that time, and the plan was that he’d rest and rehabilitate his back for 10-14 days before deciding if he could return to play or further treatment might be necessary. But his back has worsened and both Watkins and the Magic’s medical staff determined that surgery is necessary.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I’m not sure if Dwight Howard is a fan of the Steve Miller band, but he should’ve ‘taken the money and run’ by signing Orlando's max’ money offer earlier this year.

Howard has a sore back. Today we learned that All-Star needs surgery and will be out indefinitely.

His injury throws a wrench in things for player and team. Howard can no longer act like a Mongolian despot and demand the Orlando Magic fire their entire staff, which may or may not have included the dude hawking hotdogs in the stands on game-days. Meanwhile, the Magic will likely stop negotiating an extension until they know their center can make a full recovery.

Everything is on pause. Well, almost everything.

Another club could seize the moment and try to acquire Howard. Perhaps the Magic take a little less than market value to get a wonky Howard and his growing attitude out of Central Florida.

Of course, that club would have to be convinced that Howard can recover. And the Magic would have to have an epiphany and realize their franchise face is more trouble than he’s worth.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Apr , 20 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Dwight Howard tells Magic he’s done with Stan Van Gundy?

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard told team owner Rich DeVos that he won't play for coach Stan Van Gundy anymore, WKMG in Orlando reported on Thursday. Howard was angered that Van Gundy publicly divulged that the superstar center asked management to have him fired, WKMG said, citing sources.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwight Howard is an All-World talent, but the Orlando Magic must wonder if he’s worth the trouble?

Consider Howard's past year: he requested a trade several times; he then told the world he wanted to stay with Orlando; he somewhat reluctantly opted-in for 2013; and has asked ownership several times to fire Coach Stan Van Gundy and/or GM Otis Smith.

Howard is arguably the league’s top defensive player and center; however, his personal situation has hijacked the season. His every move, word, and comment has dominated the news.

It’s created a massive distraction. Think Carmelo Anthony with the Denver Nuggets in 2011 and LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010. Except there’s no end in sight to Howard’s ‘Indecision’ because he opted-in for 2013, which means the saga will continue.

Unless the Magic take action. For instance, the Lakers offered Andrew Bynum for Howard. Smith should see if that deal is still available because Bynum is amost Howard's equal and has room to improve.

Most importantly, such a move would bring closure. The current situation with Howard can’t continue.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.


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Saturday , Apr , 14 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Will Dwight Howard`s back injury kill Magic`s season?

Howard has been advised to cease all basketball-related activities for the next 10 to 15 days as playing could further extend the injury. Howard would miss the remainder of the regular season if he follows that advice, but it has not been determined if he will attempt to play through the injury.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Dwight-Drama continues.

For months, there was speculation about Dwight Howard’s future with the Orlando Magic, which placed the club in a holding pattern.

One minute, Howard wanted to stay in Orlando. One minute, he wanted out. And then, he wasn’t sure.

The situation came to a head before the trade deadline, where Howard, after much cajoling and strong-arming, opted-in for 2013.

There was a clumsy press conference. There was talk of ‘loyalty’. There was a reconciliation so awkward it belonged on the Desperate Housewives series.

It seemed all was solved in the short term. Then the rumblings and rumours started again. The Magic threatened to trade Howard to the Lakers unless he opted-in (yes, you read correctly, Howard did not want to go to L.A.). Reports surfaced that Howard wanted coach Stan Van Gundy fired.

Even retired CNN talk show host Larry King weighed-in, tweeting that a source told him Howard was nearly a Net at the trade deadline.

And now this …

Howard has been diagnosed with a back injury. He can’t play for a couple of weeks. His Orlando Magic sit at sixth in the Eastern Conference and are sliding down the standings.

The playoffs are not guaranteed. If they do secure a top-eight seed, they will likely face powerhouses such as the Chicago Bulls or Miami Heat.

The Magic`s season is ending badly. And the future for player and team doesn`t look good, either.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.


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Sunday , Apr , 08 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Stan Van Gundy: I want to coach Orlando next year

“I don’t have a scenario in my head where I wouldn’t,” Van Gundy told the Orlando Sentinel after he was asked whether he wants to return. “They’re going to have to make decisions. But I’m a basketball coach and I know this: I don’t want to go anywhere else. I mean, I love Orlando, and this is where I want to be. And I want to coach.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The superstar is in denial mode. The GM is downplaying everything. And the coach just wants to return next season.

Yes, the Orlando Magic are a mess.

Instead of worrying about the upcoming playoffs, Dwight Howard, Otis Smith, and Stan Van Gundy are pre-occupied with what will happen next.

For Howard, that means changing the Magic for the 2012-13 season. For Smith and Van Gundy, that means keeping their jobs and continuing to blame Howard.

So much is unknown in Central Florida. However, two things are crystal clear.

First, the Magic have no chance at beating the Chicago Bulls and/or Miami Heat in a best of seven series with Howard’s situation hanging over them like an ominous rain cloud.

Second, Howard opting-in for 2013 was supposed to bring closure to the Magic. Clearly, it hasn’t. The reports and rumours continue to flood the internet, while anonymous sources continue to speak out.

Perhaps all involved would have been better off if Howard was traded last March at the deadline.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.


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Sunday , Mar , 25 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bulls still interested in Dwight Howard?

Which suggests that the Bulls, if they're that high on Pau, are bound to try to trade for him again. Nor have they abandoned hope of courting Dwight Howard via trade, sources said, despite Howard's longstanding coolness toward the idea of relocating to Chicago and the extra season he just committed to Orlando by opting in for the 2012-13 season.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick: The Chicago Bulls make the most sense -if Dwight Howard wants a championship.

The Bulls have Derrick Rose, the 2011 regular season MVP and a premier NBA player. And Rose, who is in his early 20s, will get even better.

Bottom line: the athletic point guard is exactly the kind of co-superstar Howard has been searching for.  Yet, he kyboshed any chance of joining the Bulls when he declared he wasn’t interested in a 'Windy City' partnership.

The reason: nobody knows -including Howard, himself.

Initially, there was speculation Adidas, who sponsor Howard and Rose, discouraged a Bulls-Magic trade because they didn’t want their two biggest names in one market. There was also speculation the Bulls couldn’t put together a package that suited the Magic.

However, the most likely scenario is that Howard’s flip-flopping alienated the Bulls and Magic -making a blockbuster deal between these eastern powers impossible.

For a Bulls-Magic trade to occur, Howard has to get past his indecision and decide what he wants.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Mar , 22 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Larry King: Dwight Howard agreed to Nets trade before Opting-In with Magic

"You read it here," King said. "Dwight Howard had agreed to be traded to the Nets, but had a last minute change of heart and stayed with the Magic." In subsequent tweets, the veteran newsman declined to reveal his source and said "if Dwight wants to comment, I can't tell Dwight what to say."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Remember Larry King?

King was a legendary reporter and CNN interviewer before giving way to Piers Morgan, the humorous Brit’ and former gossip rag editor.

While the ‘Larry-Legend’ of the talk-show circuit was dialled in with presidents, kings, dictators, rock stars, comics, and actors, it remains to be seen how connected he is to the world of the NBA -especially with a superstar like Dwight Howard.

So I’m not sure how to take his tweet that Howard agreed to a trade to the New Jersey Nets before changing his mind and opting-in with the Orlando Magic for 2013.

It’s entirely possible, though. Remember, Howard changed his mind like a Hollywood socialite changes shoes.

Initially, he wanted out of Orlando, even requesting a trade. Then he wanted to stay. Then he wanted a trade. And then he wasn’t sure.

The flip-flopping and speculation continued until Howard surprisingly opted-in on trade deadline morning, which was followed by an awkward press conference.

Of course, the Magic had to protect themselves, so they surely pursued a trade with the Nets, while also trying to convince Howard to stay.

Fortunately, for the Magic it worked. Howard is staying. For now.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Mar , 15 , 2012 Elijah Abramson

Blazers send Wallace to Nets for Okur, Williams, and draft pick

The Nets send Okur, Shawne Williams and a 2012 draft pick protected thru No. 3, sources tell Y! Nets trying to surround Deron Williams now. Link HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Too little, too late. The New Jersey Nets have acquired Gerald Wallace because they believe he’ll convince point guard Deron Williams to sign a multi-year extension. Williams can opt-out of his contract this summer and become a free agent. The Nets, who are moving into a shiny billion dollar stadium in Brooklyn, have hitched their wagon to the star table-setter. Wallace makes the Nets good, but not good enough for Williams. D-Will wants a legit co-star  - like dare I say it, Dwight Howard who will play with Orlando for another year - to stay with the Nets long-term. Wallace, a fourth star on a contending team, isn’t of the same ilk as Howard. The Nets have a rapidly shrinking window to do something significant or Williams likely signs with his hometown Dallas Mavericks this summer. Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 
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Thursday , Mar , 15 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard Officially Opts-in for 2012-13

Dwight Howard just texted me that he has signed the waiver of his Early Termination Option.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's official. No more back-and-forth. And, for now, no more speculation.

ESPN scribe Chris Broussard is reporting that Dwight Howard has signed the opt-in clause, meaning he'll likely spend 2012-13 with the Orlando Magic.

A few things worth noting:

1) GM Otis Smith and the Magic must decide if they want Howard, after all. The center's flip-flopping created a sopa opera that made LeBron James and 'The Decision' look good.

The entire organization took a backseat to Howard's selfishness. Franchise face or not, he has some apologizing to do and should start with fans and teammates.

2) If they stick with Howard, the Magic have time - but not too much - to find a co-star. If they fail, the same saga could occur next year when Howard's contract expires.

3) The Magic and Howard must reflect on how they handled this situation. Both team and player have looked unprofessional. And both team and player must learn from their mistakes.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.


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Thursday , Mar , 15 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Dwight Howard flip-flops, will not opt-in with Magic?

In a Wednesday night conference call with Orlando Magic officials before the team’s game in San Antonio, Dwight Howard told the Magic that he is not prepared to surrender the option to become a free agent at season’s end, according to sources with knowledge of the discussion… During the call, sources said, Howard told the Magic that staying in Orlando is his first choice. But he also made it clear that he was not prepared to relinquish the (Early Termination Option) ETO in his contract that allows him to become a free agent.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: We thought we had closure -of some sorts. Well, we were wrong.

Reports Dwight Howard would opt-in and spend 2012-13 with the Orlando Magic are apparently false.

Howard, reportedly, intends to opt-out of his contract in July, become an unrestricted free agent, and, in all likely-hood, leave the Magic to sign with the New Jersey Nets or Dallas Mavericks.

Here’s the bottom line: what Howard wants no longer matters. Who cares if he opts-in or opts-out?

This saga has gone too far and the Magic can‘t build around a player who allows his personal situation to overshadow, clutter, and take away from team goals.

Consider that Howard-gate 2012 has utterly hijacked the Magic’s season. Otis Smith, Alex Martin, or whoever is in charge must deal Howard -even if that means getting 90 cents on the dollar.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.


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Wednesday , Mar , 14 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard to Magic: ‘Roll the dice’ and let me finish year in Orlando

Howard would not address the future beyond this year and said he understood there was some risk for the Magic, but hoped they’d roll the dice and keep him in Orlando.

“We’ve been talking for a while and I told them, I want to finish this season out and give our team and give our fans some hope for the future but I feel they have to roll that dice,” sad Howard. “It might be tough but I feel like we’ve got a great opportunity but they’ve got to roll it. “


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwight Howard ‘wants’ it both ways.

The All-Star center ‘wants’ to finish the season with the Orlando Magic, but doesn’t ‘want’ to sign a long-term extension.

In other words, Howard ‘wants’ the Magic to assume all the risk. He ‘wants’ his current team to play the odds, telling the front office to ‘roll the dice’ following the Magic’s win over the Heat.

Here’s the thing: well run organizations don’t ‘roll the dice’ or give their star employee what he `wants`, no matter how great he is.

Simply put, the Magic can’t allow Howard to finish the year without having his name on an extension.

`Rolling the dice` would result in Howard opting-out of his contract on July 1st and bolting as a free agent to the New Jersey Nets or Dallas Mavericks.

Under this scenario, the Magic get nothing back. And the Nets and Mavericks would have given up nothing but money to get him.

In fact, some, like NBATV analyst and former coach Sam Mitchell, believe this is why Howard asked to finish the season in Orlando. 

He has already decided to sign with the Nets, but doesn’t want to weaken his next team by having them give up assets in a trade.

In other words, Howard has half a foot in Orlando and a foot and a half in New Jersey. 

Bottom line: the Magic must cut a trade.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , Mar , 13 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Gone Too Far: Why Orlando MUST trade Dwight Howard

One source close to the situation told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher that the Magic have promised Howard that they will add a quality player before Thursday's deadline and that Howard can decide the fate of both GM Otis Smith and coach Stan Van Gundy at the end of the season if he signs an extension.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s a popular television show called Intervention where families confront a sick individual battling an addiction.

Perhaps you have seen it on A&E. Perhaps not.

Hopefully, someone in the Orlando Magic ownership group has seen Intervention. And hopefully, they confront President Alex Martin about his disease: appeasing Dwight Howard.

Sure, Howard is the top center in the NBA, but he has yet to win a championship, an MVP trophy, or even develop a go-to move on the offensive end.

He is raw, immature, and has handled his pending free agency like a teen pop diva. Annoying teen crooner Justin Beiber is more professional than Howard.

Still, the Magic continue to give Howard whatever he likes, or whatever they think he’ll like in order to have him stay.

They’ve assumed several bad contracts in an attempt to give Howard a worthy supporting cast. Gilbert Arenas, Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis, and Hedo Turkoglu all backfired and destroyed the team's financial flexibility.

Recent reports have surfaced that the Magic are chasing Monta Ellis because they think a shot-happy, crass combo guard will convince Howard to play through 2013 and sign a long-term extension.

HoopsVibe has given our opinion on Ellis before. He's not the answer.

Today, reports are surfacing that Magic President Alex Martin has told Howard he can decide the fate of coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith.

Sadly, the inmate is now running the entire asylum.

Van Gundy and Smith may deserve to be fired. This is not Howard’s decision to make, though.  He is the player. Van Gundy is the coach. Smith is the manager.

If Martin offered to fire Van Gundy and Smith to appease Howard, then a point of no return has been established.

Simply put, Howard can't return. Suppose he signed an extension with the Magic. No coach, executive, or teammate would criticize him because doing so may get them fired, traded, or released.

Bottom line: good organizations do not operate in such a fashion.

So Magic ownership must intervene. They must empower Smith to immediately get the best possible package for Howard - even if that’s 80 or 90 cents on the dollar - because keeping him would encourage dysfunction.

Then ownership must review how the entire organization, top to bottom, has handled 'Howard-gate' and make changes. Appeasing an NBA superstar is a disease that must be cured.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.  

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Tuesday , Mar , 13 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Would Monta Ellis keep Dwight Howard in Orlando?

Sources confirmed a RealGM.com report from earlier Monday that the Magic have continued to pursue Golden State's Monta Ellis as a complement to Howard. ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard reported Feb. 29 that Orlando had targeted Ellis as an ideal player to try to pry from the Warriors as a means of placating Howard.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith can’t be serious.   

Smith believes acquiring Monta Ellis from the Golden State Warriors would convince Dwight Howard to play out his contract and re-think signing an extension with the Magic.

So Smith is working overtime to swing a deal for Ellis. He’s talking to the Warriors, of course, and will even involve the New Orleans Hornets.

This won’t be enough, though.

Say the Magic land Ellis. All they have is a temperamental scorer who injured himself riding a moped, slammed Stephen Curry before ever meeting him, and sexually harassed (allegedly) an ex-employee of the Warriors` PR staff.

Translation: Ellis is a shot-happy combo guard with baggage. Sounds familiar, right?

Last year, Smith, in an effort to appease Howard, traded for Gilbert Arenas. The Hibachi resembled a broken down charcoal barbeque, struggling with his weight, shot, and role.

Howard will see right through any deal for Ellis. He’ll see Smith and the Magic for exactly what they are: desperate. And he’ll opt-out in July and leave as a free agent.

Smith and the Magic must accept the inevitable: Howard is gone. It’s time to cut the best deal possible.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.


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Sunday , Mar , 11 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Thunder won’t trade Harden and Ibaka for Howard?

Oklahoma City is not in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. Not giving up Harden/Ibaka. Not happening.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Why break up a good thing?

The Oklahoma City Thunder were wise to kybosh the Orlando Magic’s offer of Dwight Howard for James Harden and Serge Ibaka.

After all, Harden and Ibaka are key components of a young Thunder squad that currently has the NBA`s best record and seem poised for greatness.

There’s no point in breaking up their core for the temperamental Howard, who has little interest in re-signing with small market Oklahoma City.

Howard wants a major market to maximize marketing opportunities. Like Los Angeles. Like New York. Maybe Dallas -if he can partner with Deron Williams.

Oklahoma City, even though their building an incredible legacy, isn’t right for Howard.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Mar , 10 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Rockets and Lakers still talking Gasol trade?

Lakers front office telling people that "nothing is happening" with Pau Gasol, league sources say. For now, anyway.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Los Angeles Lakers want great, not good.

So it doesn’t matter that Pau Gasol was an integral part of the purple-and-gold winning two championships. To stay great, the Lakers must make changes -and that likely means parting with Gasol.

In the last year, the Spaniard has been linked to the Minnesota Timberwolves, included in Dwight Howard trade talk, and nearly sent to the Houston Rockets as part of the nixed Chris Paul deal.

Bottom line: Lakers’ management are willing to sacrifice their All-Star so they can rebuild for another championship on the fly.

Fair enough. What if the Lakers can’t trade Gasol for a superstar before the deadline?

Then Kobe and company will have the unenviable task of pushing for a championship with a disgruntled second star.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.


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Sunday , Feb , 26 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Magic turned down Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard?

“I can tell you for a fact the Lakers offered Andrew Bynum and the Magic do not want him,” said a Western Conference executive.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Thanks but no thanks.

Reports indicate the Orlando Magic turned down the Los Angeles Lakers’ offer of emerging All-Star Andrew Bynum for established franchise-face Dwight Howard.

Perhaps the Magic were fearful of Bynum’s health. Perhaps the Magic were holding out for more. Or perhaps, the Magic were hoping Howard would sign an extension.

Bottom line: Magic executive Otis Smith screwed up.

Smith must cut his losses and trade Howard for the best possible offer. And Bynum, a terrific young five, is the best the Magic can get.

The alternative is to wait until summer when Howard opts-out of his contract and likely leaves Orlando as an unrestricted free agent.

Howard prefers Dallas, L.A., and New Jersey/Brooklyn to Orlando, and he has twice asked Smith for a trade.

The Magic braintrust must face reality and accept that Howard is gone. Then they should call the Lakers back and ask if Bynum is still available.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.


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Friday , Feb , 24 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Oscar Robertson to Dwight Howard: ‘Keep your mouth shut’

“Keep your mouth shut and play basketball,” said Robertson, who was a guest on our radio show Wednesday and will be  in town during All-Star Weekend to raise awareness for prostate cancer. ”If he wants to be traded, he’s going to be traded. Go and talk to the owners and say, ‘I want to be traded’ and keep it a secret.’  In a situation like this, he can’t win. …  Anytime they (Magic) stumble and fall and every time they get beat, they’re going to blame Dwight Howard and it’s totally unfair because it’s not all his fault. I don’t think management has done a great job in keeping certain players on the team. They had a nucleus of players that got them to the Finals and then, all of the sudden, it’s gone downhill.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Here, here.

Oscar Robertson, also known as Mr. Triple-Double, is right when telling Dwight Howard to focus on his play.

Of course, Howard can opt-out of his contract at season’s end and become an unrestricted free agent. Translation: he can leave the Magic and pick his next destination.

Right now, Howard is under contract, earning the maximum amount available under the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Sadly, the franchise player has created a giant distraction by updating his status like a teenager on facebook. And everyday the 24-hour news cycle has a different rumor, twist, or angle to report.

Instead of speculating, complaining, and thinking aloud, Howard should focus on rebounding, scoring, and, most importantly, leading his Magic down the stretch.

Everything else will fall into place.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Feb , 17 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lakers trading Gasol?

"There's talks and rumors every day. Today I was reading it was Minnesota is really interested in trying to put a good package together," he said. "[Other teams are] calling, and it seems like things are just waiting for the right offer to come along, for [the Lakers] to pull the trigger."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Pau Gasol should feel uncertain about his future.

Two months, the Los Angeles Lakers nearly included him in a three team trade for New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul.

During the lockout, reports surfaced that the Lakers had offered Gasol to the Minnesota Timberwolves for franchise face Kevin Love.

Recently, rumors have swirled linking Gasol to the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard, and the Lakers are still apparently talking to the Wolves.

So, why the trade chatter?

Well, the Lakers are expected to win a championship every year. Hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy is the only way to satisfy the ‘celebs’ at Staples Center and Kobe Bryant, their franchise player and the NBA’s Alpha Male.

Right now, the Lakers stand little chance of meeting such expectations. And Gasol can still fetch a pretty-penny on the trade market, which would help the Lakers rebuild on the fly. 

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.