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Saturday , Feb , 04 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Lakers, Knicks interested in Ramon Sessions?

No deal is imminent, but the Lakers view Sessions as a candidate who could help their depleted backcourt.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I like Ramon Sessions. You like Ramon Sessions. And the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks both like Ramon Sessions enough to call the Cleveland Cavaliers and inquire about his availability.

Sessions, however, isn’t the answer. At least long-term.

The Lakers and Knicks must view the former D-League star as a stop-gap until this summer when both franchises can make a decision about the one-spot.

Perhaps the Lakers then push for free-agent-to-be Deron Williams. Perhaps the Knicks sign ageless wonder Steve Nash for the mid level exception.

Either way, Sessions will fail in L.A. or New York if either team acquires him and expects the jitterbug point guard to be a mid-season saviour.

Sessions, while talented and dynamic, isn’t capable of jumping into the Staples Center or Madison Square Gardens pressure cooker and rectifying things at, say, the trade deadline.

(Of course, both clubs have options. The Lakers recently sent Rafer Alston to their D-League squad, while Baron Davis may help when he gets healthy.)
 
Sessions would help the Lakers and Knicks.  But he wouldn’t be the answer.

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

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Saturday , Feb , 04 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: Rudy Fernandez flops like Vlade Divac and Manu Ginobili

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Right or wrong, fair or not, NBA players from Europe and South America have a reputation for flopping.

It started with Vlade Divac, the OG of the flop. And it continues with San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili. Adding to this legacy is the Denver Nuggets’ Rudy Fernandez.

During Denver’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, Fernandez hit the ground like he had been shot after supposedly taking a Matt Barnes elbow to his dome.

Replay showed Barnes, who received a technical, didn't touch him. And Fernandez, of course, was just fine. Anyway, watch Fernandez flop and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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

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Wednesday , Feb , 01 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Rose: Who wouldn’t want to play with Dwight Howard?

“Me and Dwight definitely have a relationship, especially because of adidas. I know our market and the city speaks for itself, if someone was interested to come to the Chicago Bulls,” Rose said of the Magic’s All-Star center. “Dwight, he’s a great player. Who wouldn’t want to play with him, but you never know what’s going to happen.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwight Howard will have options. All he has to do is take a pay cut.

The All-Star center for the Orlando Magic can opt-out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent July 1st.

Naturally, the rumor mill has been working overtime.

Howard was initially linked to the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, and New Jersey Nets. Then it was the Boston Celtics. Now it’s the Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls are appealing because they have the 2011 Most Valuable Player in Derrick Rose, and currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings.

Problem is, they already have Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, who are slated to earn a combined $27 million per year.

And with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, it might be difficult for the Bulls, or any team, to find the cap space to sign Howard or find a taker for Boozer and/or Noah.

Of course, the Magic can offer $30 million more than other teams, so Howard is free to leav Orlando - but he`ll have to take far less money.

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

 

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Sunday , Jan , 22 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Orlando Magic daring Dwight Howard to leave?

Despite the daily chatter about Dwight Howard's trade demand, the Orlando Magic are seriously exploring the option now of calling his bluff, believing he can't walk away from the extra $28-$30 million in guaranteed money they can pay him — and no one else can — in his next contract.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s quite the haircut.

The Orlando Magic are tired of the rumors Dwight Howard will bolt as a free agent in July, so they’re pointing out the obvious: leaving will cost him $30 million.

The Magic can offer $30 million more in an extension than Howard’s top three choices of the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, and New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets.

Of course, money isn’t everything.

Howard may take a discounted salary with Dallas, L.A., and New Jersey -if he feels those squads improve his chances at a championship.

In L.A. and New Jersey/Brooklyn, he’d maximize sponsorships and transition into the entertainment industry, which would offset his ‘reduced’ salary.

The wildcard is Deron Williams, the soon-to-be free agent with the Nets. More and more, it appears Howard and Williams will follow other superstars' lead and partner-up.

But where?

Perhaps Howard takes less to stay with the Magic, but only if they sign Williams. This would finally give him an elite teammate to battle the rival Miami Heat.

And the rumors would have been for nothing.

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

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Saturday , Jan , 21 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Kobe: ‘Hard to digest’ losing to LeBron and Heat

Kobe Bryant hates losing to LeBron James. He hates it. From Cleveland to Miami, the beatings have come over and over, leaving the Los Angeles Lakers star surly, seething. Ultimately, they’re made easier for Bryant because James has repeatedly failed in the playoffs. Bryant plays for championships, but these magnificent national stages do matter to him. In his mind, embarrassment isn’t so easily dismissed. “It is hard to digest,” Bryant said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s what makes him who he is.

Kobe Bryant’s competitiveness has made him an all-time great, so much so that he’ll be a first-ticket Hall of Famer when he retires.

With such a drive to succeed, it’s no surprise Bryant was still fuming over a loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday evening.

After all, the Heat, not the Lakers, are the NBA’s glamour team. And James, not Bryant, is becoming the NBA’s most dominant player.

Of course, James always posts massive numbers when facing, and usually beating, the  Lakers, which is like rubbing a pound of salt in Bryant’s open wound.

Bryant will respond with hard work. Like Drago in Rocky 4, he’ll train, scheme, and practice with eyes on regular season and playoff rematches.

Such an approach is what has made him great.

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

 

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Thursday , Jan , 19 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Deron Williams interested in Lakers?

With that deal long since scuttled by the NBA, would the Lakers ever make a play for Williams? Judging by the reaction that Williams admits to getting as he’s walked around Los Angeles the last couple of days, Lakers fans certainly hope so. “I’ve had that since I was in Utah, Laker fans wanting me to come here,” Williams said Monday. “It’s definitely flattering. I’ll address all that when the time is right.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The Los Angeles Lakers proved anything is possible with the nixed Chris Paul trade.

After all, the Lakers are the ultimate have-franchise; they have money to burn, assets to deal, and are a massive market.

Most importantly, the purple-and-gold are ambitious. GM Mitch Kupchak and owner's son Jim Buss are constantly looking to improve -even if it appears that the club is in cost-cutting mode with the recent Lamar Odom trade.

So, Deron Williams, a free agent to be in July, is a possibility.

There's a complication: the New Jersey Nets, Williams' current team, will demand Andrew Bynum as part of any trade.

Bynum has been impressive of late. He also has a supporter in Jim Buss, who takes credit for drafting and developing the massive seven-footer.

Of course, the Lakers could offer Pau Gasol, not Bynum. Or, the Lakers could clear cap space and sign Williams as a free agent this summer.

Bottom line: anything is possible with the Lakers.

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

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Sunday , Jan , 15 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe owes Vanessa Bryant $75 million and two mansions?

TMZ has checked official records ... which show on January 5th, Kobe surrendered his interest in 2 of their estates to Vanessa ... on that same day Vanessa surrendered her interest in a 3rd home to Kobe. 

As far as who got what ... the title transfers don't list addresses, but our sources say Vanessa is now the full owner of the mansion she shared with Kobe in Newport Coast. As for the second home Vanessa now owns in full ...  it's the nearby mansion where her mother has been living.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is what happens when a superstar athlete’s marriage goes wrong. He - in this case, Kobe Bryant - pays, especially if he has been unfaithful and doesn't have a prenup'.

Reports are surfacing that Bryant must fork over $75 million and the keys to two of his family’s luxury mansions as part of his divorce to Vanessa Bryant.

You, me, and 99% of the world would be impacted by this. But Bryant, who refused to have Vanessa sign a prenuptial agreement, won’t let it take away from his play on-court with the Los Angeles Lakers.

After all, Bryant played through an incident in Denver, Colorado. He’ll do the same with this.

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

 

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Saturday , Jan , 14 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Will the Lakers say goodbye to ‘World Peace’?

“I don’t have any issues … it’s not even an issue,” World Peace said. “The issue is that we won. We won, so it doesn’t even matter. It’s one team that’s working on winning and that’s all that matters.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Ron Artest, also known as Metta World Peace, is saying the right things. Problem is, he’s doing the wrong things on-court.

Artest deserves credit for accepting his recent benching against the Cleveland Cavaliers with dignity. The former Defensive Player of the Year didn’t complain to reporters about sitting the entire game.

Yes, Artest watched all 48 minutes, earning his first Did Not Play-Coach’s Decision.

To be blunt, the forward is a shadow of his former self. He doesn't defend. He’s uncomfortable down-low, where new coach Mike Brown plays him. And his intensity from the 2010 championship is gone.
 
Remember, Artest struggled mightily last year, and isn’t even worth the discounted mid-level exception salary he signed for in 2009.

Bottom line: Artest’s play improves or the capped-out Lakers will likely cut him via the amnesty clause to gain financial flexibility.

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

 

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Friday , Jan , 13 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Report: Al Horford out 3-4 months?

The Hawks say Al Horford will miss 3-4 months with a torn pectoral muscle suffered during last night’s 96-84 loss at Indiana.. Horford is to get a second opinion on whether to proceed with the surgery. Under the most most optimistic time frame, Horford would return in mid-April. Atlanta’s final regular-season game is scheduled for April 26.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Whatever slim shot the Atlanta Hawks had at acquiring Dwight Howard is likely gone.

After all, the Hawks were reportedly offering Al Horford and Joe Johnson to the Magic in exchange for Howard. Horford's injured pectoral muscle complicates things.

Of course, Howard, an Atlanta native, wouldn't sign an extension with the Hawks, as he prefers a bigger market to land lucrative sponsors and transition into the entertainment industry.

Think Los Angeles. Think New York. Maybe Dallas, if owner Mark Cuban works his magic. Not Atlanta, especially with Horford on the injured list for an extended period.

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

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Sunday , Jan , 08 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Dwight Howard to stay in Orlando … with Deron Williams?

Local 6 Sports Director David Pingalore has learned that Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard may be rethinking his trade request. In December, Howard told the Magic he would want to be traded to either the New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks or Los Angeles Lakers.Multiple NBA sources confirmed to Pingalore that Howard has been heavily recruiting New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams to play with him in Orlando. Pingalore has also learned the Magic are trying to trade for Williams. Pingalore's sources confirmed that Howard would rather stay in Orlando, and the sources said that it's an "80 percent" chance Howard stays.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will he stay? Will he go?

The Dwight Howard merry-go-round has again taken another turn, as the All-Star post is reconsidering his trade request and may sign a long-term extension with the Orlando Magic.

Forget the rumors involving the Lakers and Andrew Bynum and/or Pau Gasol.

Forget the gossip about the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets.

And forget the speculation about Howard’s rift with Magic executive Otis Smith.

In the end, it may not matter because the former Slam Dunk champion is seriously considering staying in Orlando.

There’s a catch: Howard wants Deron Williams to join him. The muscular table-setter is unhappy with the Nets and, like Howard, can become a free agent in July.

This is a surprise. Most of us knew Howard and Williams had interest in partnering up, however, we assumed it would happen in a major market like Brooklyn, not Orlando.

After all, Brooklyn would allow both superstars to maximize marketing and business opportunities in New York, while Orlando is a smaller city tucked away in Florida.

So, Howard’s future remains up in the air. And the debate over whether he stays or goes will continue for some time.

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

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Saturday , Jan , 07 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Kobe: Bynum, not Gasol, is Lakers’ No. 2 option

Now it's Kobe, then Bynum, then Gasol. "It seems like it's changed a little bit," Bryant said after the Lakers' 97-90 win over the Golden State Warriors on Friday. "Andrew is thirsty to score and he can score. He has more of a scorer's mentality [than Gasol], so we'll take advantage of that."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s number two with a bullet.

According to Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, the team’s young and massive center, has surpassed Pau Gasol as the Los Angeles Lakers’ second option.

Opponents have no answer for Bynum’s height, size, and length, especially when the former lottery pick receives the ball deep in the paint.

Here’s the real question: will Bryant ever let Bynum take his spot as the Lakers’ first option?

To some extent, the process is already underway. After all, Jim Buss, the owner’s son, is running the club. He drafted, developed, and refused to trade Bynum. And he let Phil Jackson leave/retire and hired Mike Brown, in part, because the former Cleveland Cavaliers’ sideline boss agreed to empower Bynum.

Bryant, at 33, is getting older. He’s played a ton of basketball and his body has sustained great wear and tear.

Currently the five time champion is battling wrist and knee issues, so Brown may start this transition by encouraging the Lakers to become more of an inside-outside team.

Inside is code for going to Bynum first. Outside is code for going to Bryant second, after Bynum has drawn an extra defender.

Of course, will Bryant let this happen?

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

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Saturday , Jan , 07 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Chris Paul to Jimmy Kimmel: I wasn’t mad about joining the Clippers

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It wasn’t as crazy as Ron Artest or Johnny Drama’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, but Chris Paul’s chat with the late night host is worth watching.

The star point guard discusses the Clippers, the nixed trade to the Lakers, and life off the court, so click the video and enjoy.


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Thursday , Jan , 05 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Mike Brown: Kobe Bryant has earned Freedom

“That’s why we sit and watch and tape afterwards,” continued Brown.  “So we can better understand where he wants the ball or he can better understand what I want on this particular possession or anything like that. I think it’s pretty neat that everybody’s making a big deal of it but it’s early in the process, I’m getting to know him, he’s got the five . . . championship rings, so he’s been there and done that.  I’m going to give him some freedom.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kobe Bryant is still The King. For now.

Some feel the Los Angeles Lakers are a franchise in transition, as Andrew Bynum takes on a greater role in the offense.

Just don’t tell Bryant, the reigning Alpha Male and Alpha Dog in La-La land. The former MVP and five-time champion still shoots at will -witness his recent 6-for-28 shooting performance.

Something larger is at play, though. For instance, the Lakers are a fractured organization. Jim Buss, the boss’ son, hired Mike Brown as coach in part because he would empower Bynum.

Of course, Buss claims he drafted and developed Bynum. And the better Bynum does, the better Buss feels about his status as a basketball executive.

So, it’s complicated.

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

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Tuesday , Jan , 03 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lakers offered Gasol for Love?

Sources say the Lakers offered Paul Gasol to the T’Wolves for Kevin Love after the league canceled the Chris Paul trade. Wouldn’t you?

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Why not? The Los Angeles Lakers had nothing to lose, right?

Commissioner David Stern nixed the Chris Paul trade, so the Lakes again offered Pau Gasol to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love.

Not surprisingly, the Timberwolves said thanks but no thanks.

Love is younger than Gasol. Love is better than Gasol. And Love makes less money than Gasol.

The Timberwolves will only trade Love if he turns down a long-term extension. However, the 2011 rebounding champion is under contract for two more seasons and seems interested in staying.

Credit the Lakers for taking a shot at Love. It willl take more than Gasol, though.

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

 

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Friday , Dec , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Carmelo Anthony: Chris Paul should be a Laker

“I thought it would have been good for the Lakers and good for the whole NBA,” Anthony said. “As a guy who loves to compete, I would have liked to see him out West with the Lakers. For me — I’ve been battling the Lakers for the last seven years when I was in the Western Conference — I liked that.” But Anthony won’t see Paul Thursday night when the Knicks take on the Lakers at Staples Center.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Everybody has an opinion -especially the superstar of the rival New York Knicks.

Carmelo Anthony, like most of the general public, believes Chris Paul should be a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and not the cross-town Clippers.

Most feel Commissioner David Stern stopped the purple-and-gold, the league’s greatest market, from acquiring Paul because the NBA, who owns the Hornets, had just spent four months locking out the players because of the power of 'have' franchises.

After all, how would it look if the Lakers got Paul on the same day the league ratified a new, more equal CBA?

Not good.

So Stern took action. And Anthony is talking.

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

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Friday , Dec , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Matt Barnes to Blake Griffin and Clippers: act like you’ve dunked before

“It’s a preseason game,’ Barnes said after Thursday’s practice at the Lakers’ facility in El Segundo. ‘Yeah, they’re catching lobs and dunking. But it’s just a preseason game. Let’s just play basketball. If you make a dunk, act like you’ve done it before. He’s got hundreds of them. There’s no need for the hoorah after every single dunk. It’s unnecessary.’

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Los Angeles’ two NBA teams, the Clippers and Lakers, don’t care for each other. Not one bit.

After all, Los Angeles was always a Laker town. They had The Logo, Wilt the Stilt, Kareem, Magic, Big Game James, Shaq-Fu, Kobe Bean, Andrew Bynum, and others.

While the Clippers could never attract or keep top talent because owner Donald Sterling wouldn’t open his wallet or spend the luxury tax payments he received from league head office.

This age-old dynamic is changing. The (natural) order of Los Angeles’ basketball teams could flip flop in 2012.  

The Lakers, who are still talented, are in transition, while the Clippers have Chris Paul at point guard; Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan down low;  and veterans like Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, and Mo Williams.

Here’s the biggest shock: the Clippers are the glamour team. Griffin and Jordan’s aerial antics will receive endless love on ESPN, youtube, and twitter.

And some, like the Lakers' Matt Barnes, don't appreciate the post dunks celebrations.

Too bad.

Barnes better realize times have changed. These are the new Clippers.

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

 

 

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Monday , Dec , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant: I want to stay with Lakers

Q: Do you see yourself retiring with the Lakers? There’s been speculation you might want a change.

Bryant: “I don’t know where that comes from. I don’t have any feeling about [leaving] whatsoever.”

Q: So you definitely want to stay a Laker?

Bryant: “Of course. No question. Why not? I’ve been here for 16 years. I’m going to up and leave now?”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Black Mamba isn’t going anywhere. Unless he wants to.

Yesterday Kobe Bryant, the superstar guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, told Yahoo Sports he would not be asking management for a trade.

Bryant has perhaps the best contract in sports. He earns between $25-30 million per annum; holds a no trade clause; and receives a large portion of his salary early in the season, which can then be invested.

Translation: Bryant isn’t upset about the changes in Laker-land.

He will work with new coach Mike Brown -even though he’s not Brian Shaw. He accepts that Andrew Bynum will have a greater role. And he has forgiven management for tying Lamar Odom in a bow and giving him as a gift to the world champion Dallas Mavericks.

All is good between Bryant and the team he has spent sixteen years with. For now.

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

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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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Sunday , Dec , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Arenas has four-team wish list?

And I’m told that Arenas, in the wake of his Orlando release, has established a four-team wish list for resuming his comeback from the gunplay debacle in Washington that derailed his career and an unsuccessful stint with the Magic. The 29-year-old is holding out hope that the call comes from either the:

• Lakers …

• Heat …

• Knicks …

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s Christmas, so why shouldn’t Gilbert Arenas have a wish list?

Why shouldn’t a fading, shot-first combo guard, with a questionable attitude demand to play for top teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, or whatever team Dwight Howard ends up on?

Perhaps Santa will provide this gift. Or perhaps the Lakers, Heat, and whatever team Howard goes to will have enough sense to steer clear of Arenas -even if he comes at a bargain basement wage.

There are rumors the Knicks will roll the dice on Arenas, but with a star-studded frontcourt they’d be better off chasing blending players.

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

 

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Sunday , Dec , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lakers to sign Troy Murphy?

Troy Murphy has agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s not Chris Paul or Dwight Howard, but Troy Murphy is something.

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Lakers inked stretch-four Troy Murphy to a one-year contract likely for a portion of the mid-level exception or the veteran’s exception.

Murphy was once an effective and useful player, but spent last year toiling on Avery Johnson’s bench in New Jersey before joining the Celtics for a late season push.

Expect Murphy to pressure opposing defences with his range and contribute on the glass as a reserve.

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