Posts Tagged ‘Dan Fegan’

Howard Picks Houston!



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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Dwight Howard will chase his championships in Houston, not Los Angeles, Dallas or anywhere else the prized free-agent center was rumored to be headed in recent weeks.

The word came down Friday evening, first reported by Sam Amick of USA Today Sports. Howard’s agent, Dan Fegan, told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports Sports that his client was in still finalizing his decision and “He hopes to finalize his decision tonight or tomorrow morning.”

But two sources familiar with the situation confirmed to NBA.com that Houston is indeed Howard’s choice. This ends a nearly two-year drama for Howard, who would sign a four-year, $89 million deal with the Rockets on July 10. Howard could have signed a five-year, $118 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, the only team that could offer him that fifth year and extra $30 million.

Late Friday night, after a face-to-face meeting with Howard, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak confirmed it for anyone thinking there was a chance Howard would change his mind:

The Rockets made the first presentation to Howard, just minutes after free agency began at 12:01 a.m. ET on July 1. The Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks and the incumbent Lakers followed up that presentation over the course of the next two days.

Howard’s lone season with the Lakers got off to a tumultuous start, head coach Mike Brown was fired five games into the season and replaced by Mike D’Antoni, who never seemed to find common ground with Howard. A summer that began with so much promise, the acquisitions of both Howard and two-time MVP Steve Nash to go along with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, bottomed out into a seventh-seed in the Western Conference playoff chase and first-round elimination at the hands of the eventual Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs.

Howard was coming off of back surgery and didn’t appear to get back into regular form until late in the season, but long after the Lakers’ championship dreams had faded. Bryant’s season-ending Achilles injury just before the playoffs began was the final dagger.

The Rockets won the recruiting battle for Howard and now they have to finish their summer work, the next piece of business being their pursuit and acquisition of Howard’s long-time friend and fellow Atlanta native Josh Smith, who is mulling over his free-agent options right now as well.

Smith, who conducted his own round of in-face meetings with teams in Los Angeles earlier this week as well, is believed to be favoring the Detroit Pistons, whose plans for the combo forward were laid out before he and his representatives met with the Rockets. But the Hawks have interest in Houston center Omer Asik, who one source told NBA.com would be the linchpin to any potential sign-and-trade deal between the two teams.

With Howard, a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and the league’s reigning rebounding champ, and potentially Smith alongside All-Star shooting James Harden, versatile swingman Chandler Parsons and point guard Jeremy Lin, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey will have assembled a core group capable of challenging the Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers and Warriors for supremacy in the Western Conference in 2013-14 and beyond.

“That’s a team that competes for championships, if not right away, certainly in the next two or three years,” said an Eastern Conference executive after hearing of Howard’s choice. “It didn’t work out with the Lakers and that group they had. But he’ll have a coach that will do wonders for him in Kevin McHale and group around him that will make things extremely difficult on anyone that focuses on Dwight in the paint. They’re going to give people fits.”

Howard On The Move In China, While His Q Score In Orlando Continues To Drop

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Just when you think Dwight Howard‘s Q score in Orlando couldn’t sink any lower comes news that the former Magic and now Lakers big man is in China  on a shoe company-sponsored promotional tour. And this comes two weeks after he didn’t make it to Orlando for a basketball camp for kids in Orlando, as the Orlando Sentinel was quick to point out.

We’re not going to judge, since we don’t know what sort of doctor’s orders Howard was operating on in either instance. But strictly from a perception standpoint, this one stings, especially for the kids still heartbroken that their favorite player bolted town and blew off their camp in the same two-week stretch.

A few more details from Josh Robbins of the Sentinel:

Dan Fegan, Howard’s agent, deferred to adidas officials when asked why Howard flew overseas but did not appear two weeks earlier at his Orlando day camp. In a statement issued to the Orlando Sentinel, adidas officials said Howard was cleared to travel “just last week.”

In the statement, adidas officials said: “Since Dwight’s injury our focus has been on his recovery. His health has continued to improve and just last week he was cleared to travel. We are excited that Dwight is now able to participate in fan and community events as he continues to prepare for the NBA season. Dwight is an amazing athlete and outstanding partner with fans around the world.”

To be sure, Howard had remained in Southern California almost all summer after spending large portions of the 2011 offseason traveling to such locations as China, Japan, Mongolia, Russia, Spain and Tanzania.

This trip is supposed to be shorter than Howard’s prior trips to the Far East. Also, Gregg Darbyshire, the chief executive of ProCamps Worldwide, the company that runs Howard’s camps, said that, as far as he knows, Howard’s previously scheduled camp for kids in China has been canceled.

Granted, Howard savaged his Q score all last season with the foolishness that was his trade request (and the obligatory denials of said request, all 15 of them) and the eight months of nonsense that revolved around that circus.

Honestly, we can’t think of a whole lot Howard can do to improve his image until the next high-profile superstar — pick anyone — forces his way out of  town. Or  the Lakers win a title.

The Dwightmare Continues

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – In the wonderful world that is the never-ending Dwight Howard drama, the news one day can be debunked the very next day.

A Thursday report that suggested Howard was warming up to the idea of potentially signing a long-term extension with the Lakers, if traded there, is being refuted today by Howard’s agent, Dan Fegan, who told ESPN The Magazine‘s Ric Bucher something that totally contradicts that stance.

According to this latest report, Howard will not sign an extension anywhere, and that includes Brooklyn, the one team he has said all along was his required destination:

“Dwight’s position has remained unchanged since the end of this past season,” said Dan Fegan of LaGardere Unlimited. “He fully intends to explore free agency at the end of next season, regardless of what team trades for him, including Brooklyn.”

A source said the Nets never insisted Howard commit to an extension as a prerequisite for acquiring him, which Nets president Billy King confirmed in a text message.

Howard told the Magic, according to GM Rob Hennigan, he would like to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets above any other team. The Nets made concerted efforts to strike a deal for Howard earlier this month, but were forced to stop when the Charlotte Bobcats threatened to sign their restricted free agent center, Brook Lopez, to an offer sheet.

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Twilight Zone Orlando: Yet Another Trade Request From Dwight Howard?





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – As if things couldn’t get any crazier for Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic this year, the start of free agency brought the latest and most bizarre twist to their saga (and that’s saying a lot when you consider where this story has been since December).

According to multiple reports, Howard has asked the Magic for a trade to Brooklyn, the second time he’s asked to be traded since training camp. And per ESPN The Magazine‘s Chris Broussard, that’s just a part of an increasingly outrageous rift between Howard and the Magic:

Dwight Howard met with new Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan on Friday and told him he wants to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Howard and Hennigan sat down face to face in Los Angeles, meeting for the first time since Hennigan became Orlando’s GM nearly two weeks ago.

Hennigan was noncommital when Howard told him he wants to be traded to Brooklyn, sources said.

Hennigan did not tell Howard whether he would trade him. His intentions were merely to hear the thoughts of the Magic superstar.

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Report: Back Surgery Will Sideline Magic’s Howard For Rest Of Season





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The lasting image of All-Star center Dwight Howard from this season might very well be that scene at shootaround practice where he and Magic coach Stan Van Gundy did their “what did he say” tango.

Howard’s season has reportedly come to an end due to back surgery. The word came down just minutes ago, from ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher:

…  Howard will undergo back surgery Friday morning in Los Angeles to repair a herniated disk, effectively ending his season and eliminating him from participation in the 2012 Summer Olympics, Howard’s agent said Thursday night.

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.

Dan Fegan, Howard’s agent, said he hopes this development debunks any thoughts that Howard’s back problem was not serious and that he was utilizing it as an excuse not to play.

A report out of Orlando said that Howard told Magic owner Rich DeVos in a recent phone call that he did not intend to play again for Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, who put Howard in an awkward situation by announcing that management informed him his All-Star center had asked that he be fired. Fegan, along with other sources, have disputed that report.

As devastating as Howard’s loss is for the Magic, who have already clinched a playoff berth, it’s just as devastating for the Olympic team. There are other options at center, but no one on Howard’s level and with his experience playing with the national team.

Stay tuned for more details …

Trade Chatter: Trying To Make Sense Of The Annual Trade Deadline Mess





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – We’re getting close to crunch time, trade deadline style.

The amount of faulty information that permeates every corner of the basketball universe this time of year is off the charts and has been known to infect even the most responsible of observers.

And that means more names, more rumors and in turn, more foolishness for us all to sort through.

Hawks forward Josh Smith was added to the list of players that have gone on record as asking for a trade request, joining his good friend and the best man in his wedding, Dwight Howard (he was last season destroying the Chicago Bulls on TNT last night). Another member of Smith’s wedding party, groomsman Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics, has also seen his name surface, disappear and resurface again in trade talks at least a dozen different times this season.

This notion that Smith and Rondo could be swapped for each other is laughable, when you consider that they played together their senior season at Oak Hill Academy and have been tight ever since. If anything, it makes sense for them to be lobbying to play together (in Boston?) as opposed to being traded for one another.

But that’s just more fuel for the trade-deadline rumor fire.

One thing is clear, Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard probably won’t be teammates anywhere else but All-Star weekend (provided Howard remains in the Eastern Conference) and at the Olympics.

They both expressed their opinions on the trade deadline drama. Rose has had enough of it all, by the way, telling the Chicago Tribune:

“It definitely is getting old,” Rose said of being asked about Howard. “I’m sick and tired of hearing it. Chicago, marketing-wise is a great city. If someone chooses to come here, they definitely could.

“But I’m cool with the teammates I have. We have a winning record. It ain’t like we need to change anything. It’s not up to me. It’s up to the front office.”

There are zero indications Howard will add the Bulls to his list of teams with which he would sign an extension or that the Bulls are pursuing him.

“If it’s not about the Bulls, I really couldn’t care less about it,” Rose said.

Howard sounded off as well, citing the weather and other issues as to why Chicago isn’t on his preferred list, telling the Chicago Sun-Times:

“Nah, it’s pretty cold here,’’ Howard said when asked about the Bulls rumors.

Nothing says warrior-poet like a player who doesn’t want to chase a ring because of lake-effect snow.

As far as playing alongside the league’s 2010-11 MVP, Howard again couldn’t help but let his true colors shine through.

“I don’t think there’s a player in the NBA who wants to be a nobody,’’ Howard said. “I think everybody wants to be that guy to take the last shot, be that guy that everybody is leaning on for whatever reason, and I don’t think there’s any problem with wanting to be that guy. I’ve been that guy for this team since I’ve been here.’’

Well, that takes care of that!

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How Does Lopez Injury Affect Howard?





HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – Deron Williams scored an NBA season-high 57 points Sunday night in Charlotte, but the bigger story coming out of the Nets’ win was an injury to Brook Lopez, who would be the centerpiece of a trade for Dwight Howard.

The Nets said Monday that Lopez suffered a sprained right ankle and will be out for three weeks. The bad news is that the trade deadline is in just 10 days, and after playing every single game in his first three seasons, Lopez has suffered two injuries with his team’s sights set on Howard.

The good news is that the injury, though it’s the same foot, is unrelated to the broken bone that forced Lopez to miss the first 32 games of the season. No injuries are good, but this one isn’t too bad.

So does it affect the Nets’ ability to acquire Howard before the deadline? Not really.

Whether or not Howard gets traded still comes down to Magic owner Rich DeVos and president Alex Martins. If they decide in the next 10 days that they can convince Howard to stay in Orlando beyond this season, they’re not going to trade for Lopez, healthy or not.

But if the Magic realize that Howard’s time in Orlando is definitely coming to an end, they have no choice but to make a deal, so that they can get what they can (players, picks and cap relief) for their star. And if Howard and agent Dan Fegan make it clear that Howard will be playing in Brooklyn no matter what next season, the Magic have little choice but to make a deal with the Nets.

Even with Lopez hobbled, the Nets can still offer a decent package. In addition to Lopez (there’s no restriction on trading for an injured player), they have rookie MarShon Brooks, a bevy of first-round picks, and enough expiring contracts to absorb the contract of Hedo Turkoglu (owed at least $17.8 million after this season) or Glen Davis ($19.4 million) in a trade. The ability to offer Orlando salary relief is an asset in itself, one that New Jersey has been sure to maintain as it has struggled through a 12-26 season.

If Orlando decides to keep Howard, the Nets will wait, hoping to sign him as a free agent in July, an option that would allow them to keep Lopez and their other assets. But they’d surely jump at the chance to trade for Howard in the next 10 days.

Lopez’s latest injury shouldn’t really affect that scenario, because the possibility of a trade is really about what the Magic believe regarding Howard’s long-term intentions, and not about Lopez’s short-term health.

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Arenas Ready For The Comeback?





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – We asked a last week if it was time for the Los Angeles Lakers to consider signing Gilbert Arenas to help shore up their point guard deficiencies and the response was overwhelmingly (84 percent) in favor of the Lakers doing exactly that.

But other than the reports that Arenas was in Los Angeles for a workout that was attended by Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchack, among others, we had no idea what the full scope of a potential comeback attempt by Arenas entailed.

We have a much better idea now after reading this detailed interview with Arenas, courtesy of our main man Sam Amick of SI.com, who delves deep into the psyche of the man formerly known as Agent Zero.

Arenas goes places in the interview that he hasn’t publicly in the past, delving into his time in Washington and later Orlando, and also detailing some of the issues that led to his infamous beard and explores the factors that contributed to his fall from grace. He also talked plenty of basketball and whether or not he’s ready for a reunion with the NBA game.

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Who Goes First, Dwight Or CP3?

– For the latest updates check out: NBA.com’s Free Agent Tracker

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — It’s no longer appears to be a matter of if Dwight Howard and Chris Paul will have new uniforms before long, it’s just a matter of when, where and who goes first?

It would take too long to run through all of the potential scenarios of when these moves will finally go down and where they could end up, so we’re trying to get a good fix on whose deal goes down first.

Their respective situations remain fluid as we roll into the second day of free agency and training camp, with rumblings that both of these superstars remain in play for potential blockbuster deals.

As far as the latest on Paul, our very own David Aldridge dropped this on us in the wee hours:

A source directly involved in the negotiations told TNT’s David Aldridge Friday that progress had been made in a potential trade of Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the trade was not expected to be completed Friday and could have several more incarnations before being completed, if it is completed at all.

The trade may or may not ultimately involve the Houston Rockets, who were part of the initial version of the three-team deal, which was vetoed by NBA Commissioner David Stern Thursday night. In that version, the Hornets would send Paul, a four-time All-Star, to the Lakers. The Lakers would send forward Pau Gasol to Houston, and send forward Lamar Odom to New Orleans. The Hornets would receive forward Luis Scola, guards Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic and a 2012 first-round pick from Houston. But now, the deal could involve more or different teams that can provide the Hornets with the combination of young players and additional Draft picks that the league is seeking for Paul.

Howard’s situation heated up overnight, too, when his agent, Dan Fegan, addressed and dismissed reports of tampering charges, among other things. It turns out, Fegan has permission to seek a trade for his client, and might actually have had it before all the tampering talk began. More from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

The Orlando Magic have given Dwight Howard’s representatives permission to speak with the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks about a possible trade for the All-Star Center, his agent told Yahoo! Sports.

The Nets have a chance to close on a four-year, $60 million-plus deal for Denver Nuggets free-agent center Nene this weekend, but are working relentlessly to make a deal with Orlando for Howard, league sources said. Howard has been waffling between wanting a deal to the Lakers and Hollywood, and wanting to join point guard Deron Williams with the Nets and be the cornerstone of the franchise’s move to a new Brooklyn arena in 2012-13, sources told Y! Sports.

Howard’s agent, Dan Fegan, denied reports Howard met with Nets officials on Thursday night – a possible violation of the NBA’s tampering rules if the Magic did not permit the meeting. Howard and Nets general manager Billy King also had previously denied meeting together.

Fegan said he met with King this week to discuss a deal for Nene, another client.

“Tampering is a non-issue,” Fegan told Yahoo! Sports by phone Friday night.

Howard, Williams and Nene adds three more big names to the six players involved in the Paul deal, making for a particularly spicy free agent gumbo this weekend.

With the tampering issues put to rest and the revival of the Paul talks by the Hornets, we’ll pose the question again before everyone get’s going this morning:

As Superman Turns …

NBA.com staff reports

Want to know how we got where we are with Dwight Howard and his future? Just turn the calendar back two days …

It all started with reports of a meeting between Howard, his associates and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and GM Billy King in Miami on Thursday night. ESPN.com reported the meeting and if such a discussion did take place, it was a clear violation of NBA tampering rules.

By lunchtime on the East coast (and well before teams opened training camp doors), news had already come out (courtesy of our own tireless David Aldridge) that the Magic might file tampering charges against two unnamed teams for illegally talking with its star big man. By the end of the night on free-agency’s first full day, Howard’s status in Orlando (or elsewhere for that matter) remained squarely in the crosshairs.

ESPN.com reported earlier Friday that Howard would soon request a trade to New Jersey. Later that same day, Howard’s agent, Dan Fegan, denied that his client had illegal contact with teams in an interview with ESPN The Magazine. Worth noting, too, is that Magic GM Otis Smith said he granted Fegan permission to speak to the Nets about a deal involving Howard. Fegan didn’t deny that he and Howard had spoken over the phone with the Nets, but did deny any face-to-face meetings. We’ll let Fegan speak for himself, as he did to The Magazine and other media outlets:

“I read reports today of a meeting between Dwight Howard, his representatives and the New Jersey Nets which claimed, according to the story’s anonymous sources, that such a meeting violated the NBA’s tampering policies. This story is clearly inaccurate with respect to tampering claims and other facts. Tampering doesn’t apply once a team grants permission for a player and/or his representatives to make contact with another team. The Magic have given us permission to have contact with several teams in order for Dwight to explore his options. I most definitely had contact with the teams I was granted permission to speak with. Since we had permission to have contact with several teams the report of possible tampering is undeniably false.

“In addition, the report that Dwight was supposed to be traded today is also inaccurate. In fact, so many of the facts reported in today’s story are inaccurate, it is difficult to separate the facts from fiction, so I’m not even going to bother to address the other inaccuracies.”

King, for his part, denied the meeting with Howard.

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