Apr 23, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson (13) dunks the ball during the first half against the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

Unconfirmed: Cleveland Cavaliers Back In The Howard Trade Mix

April 6, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets center Marcus Camby (29) guards Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum (17) in the second half of the game at the Staples Center. Rockets won 112-107. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Since the Brooklyn Nets signed Brook Lopez to a four-year, $60 million max deal, they officially rescinded their interest toward acquiring the Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard. The Los Angles Lakers quickly became the frontrunner to land Howard after the Nets, the team that Howard said he wanted to be traded to, cut off trade talks with the Magic. The Lakers recently signed All-Star point guard Steve Nash to a three-year, $27 million deal, making them a championship-ready team. With Howard the Lakers may reclaim Western Conference supremacy.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were initially apart of a deal with the Nets and Magic that would have landed the Cavs Kris Humphries, Sundiata Gaines, $3 million and a first-round pick from the Nets and Quentin Richardson from the Magic. They wanted to sign Humphries to a one-year contract, but the Brooklyn power forward wanted a four-year contract. Due to complications with Humphires and the Cavaliers rethinking making another Eastern Conference power, they stepped down from being the third team in the deal.

The Nets decided to give up on their pursuit of Howard, hoping that he sticks with the Magic for one last season and then becomes a free agent in 2013. The Lakers and Cavaliers, however, are willing to offer up a package of picks and prospects to Orlando. Howard would find himself in gold and purple while Andrew Bynum would be on his way to Cleveland.

Bynum has been expressing interest in Cleveland for sometime, stating that he would sign an extension with the Cavaliers if presented with the opportunity. He also mentioned the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks as other possible teams he would sign a deal with. Both of those teams have been heavily involved in free agency and trade business this offseason.

With possible additions to the Cavaliers roster now including Luis Scola and Bynum, the Cavaliers may find themselves in the midst of playoff talks if Irving returns as strong as he started his summer training after his recent setback. The seven-year veteran center averaged 18.7 points 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks while shooting 55.8 percent. Ridiculed a lot last season (partly because he was playing in Los Angeles), Bynum would be a wonderful star for Kyrie to work with.

If the Cavaliers take on Scola and Bynum, Anderson Varejao will most likely be on his way out. If Cleveland completes this deal, I would assume this would be the starting lineup: Kyrie Irving (PG), Dion Waiters (SG), Tristan Thompson (F), Luis Scola (PF) and Andrew Bynum (C). Unless the Cavs can come up with signing Jonny Flynn, who could also play two guard, I would much rather see Waiters start at shooting guard than an unreliable Daniel Gibson. I would test unproven over unreliable any day.

The Magic are going into a complete rebuilding process and dealing Howard would provide Orlando with a significant amount of cap relief. They would also receive the young talent that they are searching for, as new GM Rob Hennigan, who let Ryan Anderson go to the New Orleans Hornets, is looking forward without taking a glance back.

It has also been reported that the Magic would receive Varejao, Tristan Thompson and/or draft picks from the Cavs. I am huge on Thompson, who played well enough to become a NBA All-Rookie Second Team player. People questioned the Cavaliers on draft night after the team took Thompson with the No. 4 pick, just like they questioned them more recently when they chose Dion Waiters with the same number pick.

Thompson averaged a respectable 8.2 points and 6.5 rebounds and was even asked to start at the five after Varejao went down and Semih Erden and Ryan Hollins were not getting the job done. He recored nine double-doubles in his rookie season, an impressive feat for a player his age. To compare, Ricky Rubio recorded 12 double-doulbes while Irving only managed one. I would be pleased with handing over some draft picks and the injury-troulbed Varejao to the Magic, but I would prefer the Cavs stick with building around some of their younger players and keep Thompson.

Since the Lakers don’t have picks desirable enough to trade to the Magic, they are asking Cleveland to help out because they have been stockpiling picks for some time. But again, nothing is certain and there have been reports that the Cavs have walked away from a Howard blockbuster once again.

There have also been reports that there is no merit to the Cavs-Lakers-Magic trade talks, and league sources have no information on them. The Cavaliers are only being constantly tossed around in trade rumors because they have a lot of cap space and a lot of draft picks. They are a perfect trade partner, making them very desirable around this time.

Should the Cavaliers back out once again or should they make the trade to acquire Bynum?

Keep checking back to Right Down Euclid to see the latest on the Cavaliers involvement in the Dwight Howard situation

Tags: Anderson Varejao Andrew Bynum Cleveland Cavaliers Dwight Howard Los Angeles Lakers Orlando Magic Tistan Thompson

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