With rumblings that the New York Knicks are willing to ship Amare Stoudemire to the Magic for Dwight Howard and reports that GMs around the league believe the Knicks' struggles are due to bad chemistry between Melo and Amare, NBA trade season could be even more interesting than anticipated.
So far, major storylines include soon-to-be free agents Dwight Howard and Deron Williams, who could both be traded before March 15, and the availability of the Boston Celtics' Big Three, Amare Stoudemire and any Laker not named Kobe Bryant.
Below you will find a collection of the latest NBA rumors and reports:
New York Knicks
* Ken Berger of CBS Sports: "The only other team capable of making a credible postseason offer to get Howard to one of the markets on his list would be the Knicks, who could offer Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler. (Of course, this would only work if the struggling Knicks made it past the trade deadline with their key pieces intact.) While such a proposal from the Knicks would provide more star power, Stoudemire's uninsurable knees could be a deal-killer. Example from the recent past: At one point, an Eastern Conference team had a deal in place to acquire Stoudemire from the Suns for a top-five pick, and the trade was rejected by the team's medical staff because Stoudemire "might not be playing in five years," an official from that team said. That was four years ago."
* Howard Beck of the New York Times via Twitter: "Of note: Every scout and GM I've talked to about Knicks' struggles has cited poor roster, Melo/Amare dynamic. None have cited coaching."
* Kurt Helin of NBC Sports: "The Knicks have opened talks that would send Amare Stoudemire to Orlando in a swap to rent Dwight Howard, reports Donny Marshall - former NBA player and current CSNNE reporter - on NBC SportsTalk Thursday. In the video above the talk of the trade starts at the 3:30 mark.
There are a whole lot of questions around this one. Starting with, the Knicks are not one of the teams on Howard's list where he said he would sign an extension (Nets, Lakers, Mavericks and Magic). If they get him, the Knicks would essentially risk just renting him because Howard could opt out at the end of the season and leave with the Knicks getting no compensation. Clearly, if they got him they think they could get him to change his mind and sign long term."
New Jersey Nets
* Stefan Bondy of New York Daily News: "Williams has said he'd re-sign if the Nets land Dwight Howard, but trade talks have stagnated and the surging Magic (11-4) is reportedly keen on keeping its franchise player past the trade deadline in hopes that he'll change his mind.
By holding onto Howard - who has publicly requested a trade - the Magic can offer him roughly $30 million more than the Nets or any other team in free agency. The Nets have the same advantage if they hold on to Williams, and they'll have enough cap space to land both superstars. A source familiar with the Nets thinking said they'll wait out the Magic and try to sign Howard as a free agent, rather than deal Williams out of fear they'll lose both. The strategy leaves the impression the Nets believe they're still Howard's No. 1 choice, even after the trade fell through, the injury to Brook Lopez and their early-season struggles."
* Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio: "Also, the Lakers reportedly are trying to find a way to land Paul Pierce. Not sure yet what they are willing to give up. But again, it won't be an easy deal to make. The Celtics love him, obviously."
* Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports: "As Kevin Garnett and Allen become free agents this summer, money will peel away from the salary cap. Between then and now, the bigger question promises to be: Does ownership and general manager Danny Ainge go for the complete rebuild and trade Pierce before the March 15 deadline? Several contending teams have inquired about Pierce's availability. As one Eastern Conference official said, there are 'lots of calls asking if [Boston] will blow it up.'"
It will be interesting to see if the Boston Celtics break up their team to start a new. They have KG, Pierce, and Rondo. I don't see a full rebuild happening. Maybe KG and Allen sign for smaller contracts, so they can attract a significant piece during the offseason.