The trade deadline is approaching, nerves are rising, and the long debated and over-analyzed question still hangs in the balance; Where will Dwight Howard land?
Throughout this condensed NBA lockout season teams like the Nets, Mavericks and Lakers have dominated the Howard trade speculation. Perhaps flying under the radar however, is a quite but plausible chance for the Miami Heat this off season.
Speculation began to stir on Monday, after Sports Illustrated reported that Dwight Howard would be interested in signing with the Miami Heat, should he reach free agency this summer still a member of the Orlando Magic.
The Heat are obviously maxed in salary but the subsequent possibility would be an off-season sign in trade, presumably involving a member of the Big 3: Lebron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh.
The Heat were never involved in the Dwight Howard speculation because to this point, Howard hadn't included Miami on his list of teams he'd sign long term extensions with (Lakers, Mavericks & Nets).
But the Sports Illustrated report indicated that the Heat and Clippers could interest Howard this summer, when the circumstances for his future would be different.
The Miami Heat landed in Orlando this afternoon, set for their Tuesday matchup against Dwight Howard and the Magic. The Big 3 are more than aware of the Howard trade talks, and can't help but be enamored with the possibilities and resulting implications.
"We don't know until if he's staying in Orlando or going somewhere else. We don't know how it could reshape the league or reshape the Eastern Conference until you know exactly where he's going to be after Thursday, so we'll see." - James said
Dwyane Wade acknowledged that he's been following all the Howard updates but also admitted he's grown tired of it.
"I'm done following this, because it's been too long now. You just hopefully wake up one day and something happened or didn't happen and get it over with." - Wade said.
The next couple of days will certainly shed some light on Dwight Howards future, and in the event that he stays in Orlando for the duration of the season, South Beach could see itself centerfold in free agency speculation once again.
Perhaps the biggest determining factor will be the outcome of this years championship conquest. If the Heat fall short once again, and Howard remains with Orlando until this summer, a sign and trade could be imminent.