UPDATE: According to Alex Kennedy from Hoopsworld, Orlando Magic GM Rob Hennigan is expected to fly to Los Angeles and set up a meeting with Howard to try and convince him to stay.
Chris Broussard from ESPN is reporting that the Magic may not trade Howard and may wait to start the season. The Magic want the right deal for Howard, which would include young prospects, draft picks and cap relief. In this scenario, the Magic may want to start the season with Howard and see if he changes his stance. If not, they can always look to move him at the February trade deadline.
In answering questions from a Spanish reporter about Laker teammate and Olympic rival Pau Gasol, Bryant made news today about Gasol’s future with the Lakers: “As long as I’m there, he’s going to be there.”
Upon hearing the quote, Gasol later tweeted “Thanks Kobe! It’s a pleasure to play with you game after game. Go Lakers!!”
Jordan Hill has reached a two-year agreement worth nearly $8M to return to the Lakers. According to his agent Kevin Bradbury “Jordan will be returning to the Lakers next season to join Steve Nash in trying to bring a championship to LA! There were bigger offers, but in the end… wants to bring a championship to LA.”
Lakers traded Derek Fisher last season to the Rockets for Hill, who played significant minutes at the end of the season and playoffs. Hill made his presence known last season in the regular season Double OT game against the Thunder in which he played 35 minutes and had 14 points and 15 rebounds.
According to Adrian Wojnaroski of Y! Sports, the Cavs want contract assurances from Andrew Bynum in the potential Dwight Howard trade to the Lakers. Thus far, the Cavs have not spoken with Bynum or his agent as the Lakers are only willing to grant permission once the framework of a deal is in place with all teams.
With Bynum, the Cavs are looking to pair the 24 year old All Star Center with Rookie of the Year point guard Kyrie Irving.
The Magic have been very indecisive on what they want for Howard, so until that is resolved, no deal is close to happening.
According to Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com, who many consider a very credible Dwight Howard source in Orlando, Howard is ready to join the Lakers. Until recently, Howard only expressed a willingness to extend long-term with the Brooklyn Nets. However, sources state tonight that Howard is not only willing to re-sign long term with the Lakers when his contract expires at the end of the in 2012-2013 season, but would be “excited” to have the opportunity to wear the purple and gold.
Since many reports state that Orlando is not interested in Andrew Bynum, a third team will have to be involved to execute the trade. Bynum would have to also be willing to extend long-term with his new team. The Rockets and Cavs both remain the top suitors for Bynum in any three team deal.
Sources: Dwight Howard is ready to join Lakers. If traded to Los Angeles Howard will re-sign long-term with team after 2012-13 season.
UPDATE: Sources have reported that the Cavs might be the possible third team to facilitate a Howard to LA trade. In this trade, Bynum would go to the Cavs, and Anderson Varejao to Orlando along with picks. Lakers would be willing to take back the $18M over 3 years salary of Jason Richardson, but not Hedo Turkoglu.
Rumors are circulating that the potential 3-way deal might have resurfaced. In this deal, Howard would go to LA, Bynum to Houston, and Orlando getting picks and cap relief. Updates to come…
Today is the deadline for NBA teams to take advantage of the amnesty clause. Only players signed under the old collective bargaining agreement can be amnestied. Sources state that the Lakers are NOT expected to use the amnesty.
According to Marc Spears of Y! Sports, the Lakers are meeting with the Orlando Magic today to discuss a deal for Dwight Howard. Lakers want a contract extension commitment from Howard. Details to come…
According to Marc Spears of Y! Sports, the Lakers are expected to work out free agent Jermaine O’Neal in Las Vegas on Tuesday. O’Neal has recovered from his knee surgery and has recently gone to Germany and received the same Orthokine therapy as Kobe. O’Neal averaged a little over 5 points per game the last two seasons with the Boston Celtics, and has missed 99 out of the last 148 games. Lakers would only be interested in O’Neal for the veteran’s minimum.
According to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, Antawn Jamison has chosen the Lakers over signing with the Bobcats. He is currently in vacation in Europe at the moment, but is expected to sign the the team later this week. Although reports have stated that this is going to come to fruition, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak stated that “Nothing is imminent.” Jamison, who averaged 17.2 pts and 6.3 rebounds last season, would provide the scoring punch off the bench the Lakers sorely lacked.
Update: According to Y! Sports, Grant Hill has reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Sources have reported that Grant Hill is leaning towards signing with the Lakers. According to John Gambadoro of sports talk 620 KTAR in Phoenix, both Nash and Kobe have been recruiting him. Hill will be 40 years old before next season begins, but he could help solidify the Lakers bench in limited minutes. Hill averaged 10.2 points per game in 28 minutes last season.
In part one of their sit down conversation, Bryant discusses why the 2012 Olympic team would beat the 1992 Dream Team, and why he succeeds in the clutch.
Bryant also talked about what Olympic teammate he grew closest with in 2008:
David Brickley: One of the fun things about that [Dream Team] documentary was Larry Bird and Patrick Ewing became great friends. Which I think Charles Barkley said thats kind of the most awkward pairing he’s seen.
Kobe Bryant: [Smiles] “It is. it is very odd”
DB: So for you, the guys that you maybe see once or twice a year, especially if they’re in the Eastern Conference, are all of a sudden your teammates and I think in 08′ you mentioned you developed some real strong relationships with these guys because you just never got to know them.
Kobe Bryant: Yea because you don’t have time to. You know everybody’s constantly doing a million different things during the season and off the season its even more so because you have so many commitments to sponsors and things like that so during that season Carmelo Anthony and I became extremely close just because of our personalities….
DB: I think you became his P.R. Guy during the all-star game….
KB: [laughs] That was my guy man, that’s my guy…I know he went through a very tough time when he was in Denver and needed somebody to kinda go to bat for him and stand up for him and that’s what friends do.
In part one of their sit down conversation, Bryant discusses why the 2012 Olympic team would beat the 1992 Dream Team, and reveals what Olympic teammate he grew closest with in 2008.
Bryant also talked about why he succeeds in the clutch:
Jason Riley: What is it about the last few seconds of the game, on the line, that kind of brings the best out of you?
Kobe Bryant: “You just got to have the fearlessness to really take those shots, because if you miss those shots then you have to deal with the criticism. You have to deal with…
JR: “Us talking about it right?”
KB: “Right! A lot of times people kind of get apprehensive about taking those shots because of that.”
David Brickley: “Right when we mentioned it, it seemed you were smiling already just thinking about the word ‘clutch’”
KB: “It’s always been a myth to me as to why certain people don’t really like those situations because of the pressure. Because we have all lost games before. So its not like by you missing that shot you’re about to face something that you will never face again. Or haven’t faced in the past. We’ve all came up short at one time or another. You just got to let it all hang out, trust your skills, and trust the work that you have put in.”
With the Lakers off to a poor start, trade rumors have begun to swirl around Kobe Bryant, leading many to speculate if he'll leave for greener pastures. Kobe puts those rumors to rest in his interview with Yahoo Sports.