dwight-howard
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Thursday , Dec , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Josh Smith and Joe Johnson for Dwight Howard?

Sources told ESPN.com that the aforementioned Hawks, meanwhile, engaged Orlando in trade talks for Howard earlier this month with an offer believed to be headlined by $124 million guard Joe Johnson and swingman Josh Smith. You have to figure that the Magic, though, would insist on Al Horford if such discussions ever got serious.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Rebuilding isn’t an option for the Orlando Magic, so they’re reluctant to trade franchise face Dwight Howard for prospects, draft picks, and expiring contracts.

The powers that be in Orlando want established professionals -like, say, Joe Johnson and Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks.

This is interesting, as both are big-ticket pieces, especially Johnson who is due to earn $107 million over the next five years. Smith is due $25.5 million through 2013.

Here’s the question: is Johnson and Smith superior to the Lakers reported offer of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol?

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

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Thursday , Dec , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Deron Williams wants ‘top-tier’ guys (Dwight Howard) to stay with Nets?

“We need some more pieces,” he said. “There’s no secret about that. There’s not many starters on our team right now. We have a lot of great role players, a lot of guys who know their job, but in this league you need some top-tier guys so you can get the job done.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Deron Williams has leverage over the New Jersey Nets and isn’t afraid to use it.

Williams, a top point guard who can opt-out of his contract this summer and become an unrestricted free agent, will only re-sign with the Nets if they supply him with 'top-tier guys'.

Translation: he wants Dwight Howard, the NBA’s best center.

(Howard is in a similar predicament with the Orlando Magic. He too can opt-out of his contract this summer and walk on the Magic as an unrestricted free agent. And he also wants a superstar teammate.)

Howard reportedly has interest in joining a Williams led Nets squad, especially since they’re leaving the marshy swamps of Jersey for the borough of Brooklyn.

Howard, a magnanimous personality, loves the lights, stars, and marketing opportunities available in The Big Apple.

So, on paper, it all works. Williams is simply providing the Nets will a little urgency to make it happen.

He might as well. After all, he has leverage.

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

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Sunday , Dec , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jim Buss: Lakers won’t trade Bynum and Gasol for Howard

"I don't understand the thinking that we need saving as a franchise," Buss says. "We have three All-Stars, and we need saving?" There's an Internet report suggesting Orlando was willing to trade Howard for Bynum and Pau Gasol, but now he's shaking his head as if in pain."Where does this stuff come from?" he says. "You'd have to be kind of silly to give up two All-Stars like that for Howard. Zero truth to it. We have never been asked for Andrew and Pau and we've never offered them. I think they know we'd either say no or they would sound crazy for asking."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Publicly, Jim Buss has to downplay the Los Angeles Lakers’ interest in Orlando Magic post Dwight Howard.

Privately, the owner’s son should know the team that gets the best player wins the trade, so Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak must be open swapping Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol for Howard.

Here’s the complication: the Lakers are a fractured bunch, as most things in the world of purple-and-gold is political.

Like Bynum. For instance, Jim Buss is reluctant to trade, or even criticize, Bynum because he likes to take credit for drafting and developing the seven-foot center.

And the better Bynum plays, the more Buss can justify his role as a basketball executive within the organization.

Instead of trading Bynum, Buss has empowered him, hiring a coach, Mike Brown, who will feature his skills, and even declaring him Kobe Bryant’s equal.

So Buss' agenda and Laker politics could complicate doing what is right: swapping Bynum and Gasol for Howard.

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

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Tuesday , Dec , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Andrei Kirilenko returns to ‘Motherland’ Nets?

Source confirms that Andrei Kirilenko is on his way to leave CSKA Moscow and join New Jersey Nets where he will sign a multi-year deal.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s back from the motherland. And will play for the NBA's version of the motherland.

Word is the New Jersey Nets, who are owned by Russia’s richest man and presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov, have signed Andrei Kirilenko, Russia’s best basketball player, to a multi-year contract.

This is hardly a surprise. During the lockout, Kirilenko played for CSKA Moscow, a Russian club side owned by (surprise, surprise) Prokhorov.

Here’s the question: how much?

As in how much cap space did the Nets use. Remember, the soon-to-be Brooklyn franchise must save cap space to trade for Orlando Magic post Dwight Howard, which may also mean taking the remaining years of Hedo Turkoglu’s toxic pact.

So today the Nets are better after signing Kirilenko. However, it’s the next move everyone is watching.

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

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Sunday , Dec , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard on Orlando: ‘I love this city’

During the player introductions Saturday, Howard received a standing ovation. He said that moment was special for him.

“It was emotional,” he said. “It was great to see their reaction. And like I’ve told you guys from day one, I love this city. … When I came here, everybody called our team the Orlando Tragic. I wanted to change it. Nobody says tragic anymore.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps there is hope.

Perhaps the fan support will influence Dwight Howard to rescind his trade demand, avoid opting-out of his contract next July, and sign a long-term extension with the Orlando Magic.

Such a scenario is unlikely.

Howard wants a larger market, superstar teammates, and a chance at winning a championship each year.

This means he must take flight for one of the NBA’s major markets. Think Los Angeles, but only if the Lakers give up Andrew Bynum, the golden boy in the organization. Think New Jersey, but only if the Nets re-sign point guard Deron Williams. Think Dallas, but only if the Mavericks can clear the necessary cap space.

Yesterday was positive. So there is hope for Orlando fans. Just not much of it.

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

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Wednesday , Dec , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lakers again chasing Chris Paul?

The Lakers are making another run at Chris Paul, who remains in limbo as the NBA league office has taken over negotiations on behalf of the Hornets.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Pau Gasol, it’s not over.

For months the Spanish post has been plagued by rumors that the Los Angeles Lakers were looking to trade him.

He had been linked to Kevin Love in Minnesota, Dwight Howard in Orlando, and twice nearly found a home in Houston as part of a three-team blockbuster for Chris Paul of New Orleans.

Of course, Commissioner Stern and the NBA, who own the Hornets, nixed both previous offers from the Lakers, citing the ever-mysterious ‘basketball reasons’.

Now the Lakers are apparently taking a third run at Paul, and Gasol is again the centerpiece of the purple-and-gold’s offer.

So the rumors will continue. And Gasol could still end up out of town.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Monday , Dec , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Magic will make Howard wait for trade?

When Dwight Howard asked to be traded, the Magic informed him that the team will not let his request dictate their timetable for a decision.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwight Howard will have to wait for his ticket out of Orlando.

Magic executives reportedly told their franchise-face, who formally asked for a trade, that they won't rush to satisfy his request for a change of scenery.

There are two sides to this approach. On the one hand, the Magic's future is at stake, so they must take their time and get what they can from potential suitors.

On the other hand, waiting means dealing with with 24/7 internet rumors and constant questioning from media. Such distractions could railroad their season.

There’s both good and bad to making Howard wait for what seems inevitable.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Sunday , Dec , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lakers to chase Dwight Howard, not Chris Paul

The Lakers have pulled out of Chris Paul trade talks and will trade Lamar Odom to the Mavericks for a traded player exception that was acquired for Tyson Chandler.Dallas will send unspecified draft considerations to the Lakers. "The Lakers are shifting toward trying to make a Dwight Howard deal."

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: We have closure on this saga. For now.

The Los Angeles Lakers have officially pulled out of the Chris Paul sweepstakes, and will instead focus on acquiring Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic.

Perhaps the cost was too high. Perhaps dealing with NBA head office, who own the New Orleans Hornets, was too complicated. Or, perhaps they just prefer Howard.

Bottom line: the purple-and-gold have declared their intention to pursue Howard. And they usually get they want.

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

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Sunday , Dec , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard has asked Magic for trade

Magic GM Otis Smith told the media on Saturday that Dwight Howard has asked to be traded on two separate occasions this week.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: A trade is coming. And sooner rather than later, too.

Reports are surfacing that Dwight Howard twice formally asked the Orlando Magic for a trade this past week.

Now the Magic can talk all they like about re-upping with their franchise face and All-Star post, however, Howard has decided he wants out.

There’s still a remote chance Howard inks a long-term extension to stay, but the Magic would have to put together a strong, strong season.

And a winning season would be difficult - if not impossible - with Howard’s pending free agency hanging over the club like an ominous rain cloud.

Day-in, day-out the media would hound Howard, club officials, and teammates with pestering questions.

It would be wiser to give Howard the trade he seems to so desperately want.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Saturday , Dec , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Orlando let Dwight Howard talk to three teams?

The marriage between the Orlando Magic and Dwight Howard, for all intents and purposes, is now basically over. Just a matter of where the big man ends up. Reports SI: “Dwight Howard’s agent, Dan Fegan, tells SI that the Magic gave Howard permission to have contact with several teams to explore his options. Fegan says report that Dwight could have been traded today was ‘inaccurate.’ Fegan says the Orlando gave Howard permission to talk to three teams. New Jersey was one of them.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is the latest evidence that Dwight Howard is done with the Orlando Magic.

After all, the Magic 'reportedly' allowed Howard, their franchise face and perennial All-Star, to talk to three teams about a trade and extension.

Remember, Howard can and will opt-out of the final year of his contract next summer, meaning he can leave the Magic as a free agent.

And he won’t sign an extension with the Magic, so the club is letting Howard explore his options to help facilitate a trade.  

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

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Wednesday , Dec , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lakers want Dwight Howard and Chris Paul?

Hoping to pull off a pair of blockbuster moves that would rock the NBA, the Lakers are willing to trade anyone on their roster outside of Kobe Bryant to bring Howard and Paul to Los Angeles, two sources said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: These are the Los Angeles Lakers. They go big. Or they don’t go.

It’s no surprise the storied purple-and-gold want to land both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. These are the Lakers; their arrogance and deep pockets make anything possible.

Remember, fifteen years ago they cleared a mountain of cap space and signed Shaquille O’Neal, while also swapping veteran center Vlade Divac for some kid called Kobe Bryant.

A few years ago they stole Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies and ended up with two consecutive Larry O’Brien trophies.

Of course, this scenario wasn’t supposed to happen anymore.

The lockout was supposedly about, in part, preventing major markets from landing all the league’s premier talent. The owners caved, failing to get franchise tags or a hard cap in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

So the Lakers will continue to chase the best talent. After all, there’s no system stopping them.

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

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Saturday , Dec , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bynum ‘indifferent’ about possible Howard deal?

The source classified Bynum as “indifferent” to all the trade talk and willing to play wherever. This is the third time he’s been rumored to be the centerpiece of a package for an All-Star, previously being involved in discussions for Kevin Garnett and Jason Kidd.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Andrew Bynum has been through this before.

Remember the Los Angeles Lakers nearly dealt a teenage Bynum to the New Jersey Nets for Jason Kidd. The speculation was ramped, with Laker great Kobe Bryant commenting on the trade rumors in a bizarre cell-phone video.

There had also been chatter of Bynum being dangled as bait for Kevin Garnett when The Big Ticket was looking to escape the Minnesota Timberwolves.

So it’s no surprise that Bynum isn’t bothered by the chatter of being sent to the Orlando Magic in exchange for All-Star Dwight Howard.

In Orlando, he’d be the undisputed first option. There’d be no more playing in the shadow of Kobe Bryant.

However, there’s a strong chance the Lakers keep Bynum. He was, after all, the choice of Jim Buss, the new lead executive of the purple-and-gold and, most importantly, the owner’s son.

The younger Buss uses Bynum’s success to justify his position in the front office. Don’t think this doesn’t matter in the political world of the purple-and-gold.

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

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Wednesday , Nov , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Clippers want Dwight Howard?

But while the Clippers like Paul, sources say they like Dwight Howard even more. The Clippers have made it clear to executives throughout the league that they will do whatever it takes -- outside of trading Griffin -- to get Howard, who will become a free agent at the same time as Paul, either this season or next summer.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They can chase him but he will not sign.

Dwight Howard will not opt-out of his contract with the Orlando Magic to sign as a free agent with the Los Angeles Clippers in July, 2012.

Yes, the Clippers have Blake Griffin, the next face of the NBA. They also have Donald Sterling, the worst owner in the NBA and perhaps pro sports.

Why would Howard, who presumably wants to win an NBA championship, willingly sign with an owner who has gone to court for racist policies, been accused of sexual harassment, and has no issue watching his players shower while on a date?

Talk about creepy.

Then there’s his alligator arms. For years, Sterling was content to lose with cheap talent and make money off luxury tax payments from league head office.

Sometimes he doesn’t honour contracts -even when he’s fired an employee. Isn’t that right Mike Dunleavy?

Winning starts at the top. And if Howard wants to win he shouldn’t sign with the Clippers because they have a dysfunctional owner who won't spend money.

Of course, if Howard wants to leverage his brand then he may consider Los Angeles’ other team. 
 
And then he’ll just have to live with Sterling, warts and all.

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

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Sunday , Nov , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Howard, Paul, Williams still leaving Magic, Hornets, Nets?

Owners dropped their insistence on what would have been known as the Carmelo Anthony rule, preventing teams from executing extend-and-trade deals similar to the one that sent Anthony from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks last season. This means that if Dwight Howard, Deron Williams and Chris Paul want to leverage their way out of Orlando, New Jersey and New Orleans, they will still be eligible to sign three-year extensions with their current teams before being immediately traded elsewhere.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Weren’t owners, in part, fighting to prevent superstars from leaving less desirable markets?

Wasn’t the five-month long lockout about re-establishing a balance between smaller, have-not markets and larger, have markets?

The owners conceded by failing to end the extend-and-trade clause, which means superstars and pending 2012 free agents Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and Deron Williams have leverage over Orlando, New Orleans, and New Jersey in contract negotiations.

Howard, Paul, and Williams can sign lucrative four-year extensions for max’ money with the Magic, Hornets, and Nets as part of a trade - just like Carmelo Anthony did in 2011.

Remember Anthony held the Denver Nuggets hostage, signing an extension once he knew he'd be sent to the New York Knicks as part of a blockbuster deal.

Personally, I think Howard and Paul move on.

Howard wants a flashier, bigger city to maximize his off-court pursuits, while Paul is clearly frustrated with the Hornets' progress and wants to win now.

Williams could stay with the Nets. Ownership has deep pockets. The franchise will soon swap the swamps of Jersey for a trendy Brooklyn stadium. And the stocky point guard, if he re-signs, will be the face of a re-born franchise.

Of course, the Nets have been trending upward since Mikhail Prokhorov, also known as Russia’s richest man, bought the franchise.

If Howard and Paul do leave Orlando and New Orleans through the extend-and-trade, fans will again wonder what the lockout was really for.

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

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Saturday , Nov , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Howard, Pierce, Wade leading charge to decertify?

Ray Allen told the Globe last night that teammate Paul Pierce organized the call of dozens of players to discuss the possibility of breaking up the union if a deal is not reached soon. According to Allen, there were in fact two conference calls, the other on Thursday, in which Allen did not participate.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Are they prepared for the fallout?

Dwight Howard, Paul Pierce, and Dwyane Wade will be blamed if they lead 50 NBA players to decertify the union and take the owners to court in search of a new collective bargaining agreement.

Such a move would be messy. Such a move would be complicated. And such a move would have consequences like the league cancelling the entire 2011-12 season.

It wouldn’t matter that the owners negotiated in poor faith. It wouldn’t matter that the leader of  the players union have squabbled like children. It wouldn’t matter that the NBA’s well-to-do business model is out of touch with the current global economy.

The only thing that would matter is that there’s no basketball. After all, decertification means a cancelled season. And a cancelled season means angry fans.

Howard’s good guy days would end. For Pierce, a lifelong Celtic, everyday would be like playing the Lakers. And Wade better expect The ’Heattles’ treatment to continue. 

Hopefully, it doesn’t come to this. Hopefully, they find a solution.

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

Greatest Slam Dunk Champion Ever- Part Four
Friday , Sep , 23 , 2011 Paul Eide

Greatest Slam Dunk Champion Ever- Part Four

Read parts one, two and three of this series here. In ranking these champions, I want to completely exclude their overall skill as basketball players, and focus solely on their ability to dunk the basketball. Also, I think era in which they were dunking in is very significant, as is height. With those parameters laid out, let me throw the second five names at you, in no particular order. Of these five, I will rank them by reader comments via Hoopsvibe.com, Facebook and private emails.

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Thursday , Sep , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Dwight Howard busts a move with Mongolian children

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: And so Dwight Howard’s tour of randomness continues.

Today the Orlando Magic center is dancing with the children of Mongolia, and, after his planking session with fans, I have no idea what he’ll be doing next.

Click the video, watch Howard, and get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Sep , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard Planks with Chinese Fans

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Yesterday he dunked on a giraffe hoop. Today he planked with hundreds of fans in China.

Yes, the Dwight Howard goodwill tour continues and the Orlando Magic center spread his brand overseas through having fans plank in the shape of a D-H.

Click here for pictures and get at us with thoughts on Howard's antics in the comment box below.

 

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Thursday , Sep , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Dwight Howard ‘posterizes’ a giraffe?

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Hopefully, an animal rights group doesn’t see the video of Dwight Howard dunking on a giraffe hoop.

You can see it, though. Click the video below and watch the Orlando Magic center entertain the masses in Tokyo -even if some will claim cruelty to animals. 

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Monday , Aug , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: New CBA to help Orlando keep Howard?

“One thing that might give some comfort to Orlando fans is that one of the thoughts in the new collective bargaining agreement is to give an advantage to teams who are trying to keep their incumbent players,” Dyer says. “That would allow the Magic, for instance, to offer Dwight more money than any other team and (entice him) to stay home.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They have hope.

The speculation has been that Dwight Howard will opt-out of his contract next summer and walk on the Orlando Magic, sending the South Florida franchise back to the stone age.

Some expect Howard to join the Los Angeles Lakers, even though the purple-and-gold has post Andrew Bynum. Others expect Howard to partner with a top table-setter like the New Jersey Nets’ Deron Williams.

Either way, Howard was thought to be gone. And Magic GM Otis Smith was getting ready to reserve his seat at the NBA’s annual draft lottery in the spring of 2013.

Until now.

Apparently, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will help teams retain their own stars by increasing the amount they can pay, and essentially outbid opponents for, their own free agents

Other clauses will make it difficult for stars to join forces. Salaries will be reduced; there could be a hard cap without a luxury tax or exemptions; there may even be revenue sharing. (Call it ‘The Miami Clause’.)

Expect the post lockout NBA to resemble the NFL. There will be greater parity. There will be greater balance. There will be less have-not franchises.

All of which should help Orlando keep Howard. This, it seems, is the best they can hope for. 

--Oly Sandor.

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