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BASKETBALL > Howard stays with Magic as signings start in NBA

ORLANDO, Florida - Agence France-Presse

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Dwight Howard. AP photo

Dwight Howard. AP photo

Dwight Howard will not be leaving the Orlando Magic for the Brooklyn Nets but Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis joined the NBA champion Miami Heat on July 11 as a signing moratorium ended.

After days of reports and rumors, clubs could finally make official moves and many of them did, but the biggest talent on the potential dealing block, All-Star center Howard, stayed with the Magic.

Talks of a four-team trade deal collapsed when Magic general manager Rob Hennigan ruled out a transfer to the Nets, Howard’s preferred destination.

“Anything is possible, but with the talks that we have had up to this point there is probably not a whole lot there,” Hennigan said of reviving a Nets deal for Howard.

Hennigan said such a trade would not be in the Magic’s best interest, even though Howard could play out a final season and leave on his own terms in another year.

Hennigan said that when he told Howard about his decision, the big man was “conversational, respectful, professional and business-like.”

Former Boston guard Allen and Washington forward Lewis joined Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James with the Heat.

The Miami Herald reported Allen rejected a two-year deal worth $12 million to sign with the Heat for $6.3 million over two years. Allen won his lone NBA crown in 2008 with Boston and star teammates Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

“I contributed a great deal to the organization in Boston and they have been so good to me and my family. I was thinking ‘Is Miami going to be a good fit for me?’” Allen said. “There was a moment. I talked to the people around me and they said change is not bad. It was that moment I said this was going to be a great opportunity for me.”

Allen is the NBA’s all-time leader in three-point baskets and has a career average of 20.0 points a game over 1,148 games with Milwaukee, Seattle and Boston.

Lewis, a 14-year NBA veteran, took a $1.35 million minimum salary to leave the Wizards. He has career averages of 16.1 points and 5.6 rebounds a game. “Everybody sets goals over their career and my next goal is obviously to try to win a championship,” Lewis said. “The ball can’t bounce forever.”
Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin signed an extension worth $95 million over five years.

Also making his new deal official was Deron Williams, who signed with the New Jersey Nets for $98 million over five years.

Tim Duncan inked a three-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs worth about $34 million, one that should make true the 36-year-old forward’s playoff claim of being a “Spur for life.” “Tim Duncan has established himself as one of the best players in NBA history,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “His impact on the Spurs can’t be measured. We are all grateful for the leadership and dedication Tim has shown.

“He is an unselfish superstar who loves to compete and has only one goal when he steps on the court -- to do whatever it takes to help his team win. We are all thrilled that he’ll spend his entire career as a San Antonio Spur.” Duncan, a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, has career averages of 20.3 points and 11.3 rebounds a game over 15 seasons, four of them which ended with NBA crowns for the Spurs.
The New York Knicks obtained center Marcus Camby in a sign-and-trade deal with the Houston Rockets but there was no word if the Knicks would match the Rockets offer for free agent guard Jeremy Lin to avoid letting the first NBA Asian-American star leave for Texas.

The Knicks also signed James White, who spent the past three seasons playing in Europe, and guard J.R. Smith.

July/12/2012

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