Forget Howard; Lin impacting NBA futures 

February, 17, 2012

This was going to be a column about Dwight Howard. He is an excellent player. A potential Hall of Fame talent. He is very popular, has lots of Twitter followers, has been on the cover of our magazine several times and many, many fans in Orlando worry that he will soon be a former citizen of their fine city. Like Timberlake and Gosling or XTina or the dudes from that show about the making of the boy band with the guy who eventually had a show about coming back after the boy band flamed out, Howard is destined to see that his star cannot shine bright enough inside the Magic Kingdom.

I was supposed to speculate about where he will go and examine how that is affecting the NBA's futures market. To be honest, right now, Howard is as relevant to bookmakers and NBA futures as I am, which is to say not at all.

The talk of where Peyton Manning may end up is, after a couple weeks of stagnancy, impacting bookmakers more than any trade talk about Howard. Miami Dolphins prices have dropped from 50-1 to 30-1. The Cardinals have dropped from 25-1 to 5-1. Even the Seattle Seahawks, a long shot, have gone from unlisted to 10-1. Anyone who Manning might have thought about while under the knife for one of his four-and-counting surgeries is getting action.

But no one is moving the futures of the Bulls or the Lakers or even the Nets just because there are rumors circulating that Howard might end up there. And if he does eventually get traded, it's only New Jersey, which is in triple digits to win the title, that will be dramatically impacted. How much shorter can the Bulls go?