Melo offers advice to Dwight Howard


NEW YORK -- As last season's top trade commodity, Carmelo Anthony knows how Dwight Howard, the league's most dominant down-low force, feels with his name being swirled around shipping rumors even before training camp opened in December.

Anthony said he is aware of only one thing about Howard this season -- that he's doing his thing so far, averaging 18.6 points and 14.6 rebounds while leading the Magic to a 6-3 record. As far as where Superman may end up before the March 15 trade deadline, Melo doesn't have a clue.

"Honestly, man, I haven't really been keeping up with the whole Dwight Howard situation," Melo said at Monday morning's shootaround at the Knicks' practice facility. "I've just seen he's been playing well, they've been playing well. That's all I've been keeping up with.

"As far as his situation, trust me I know mentally what he's going through. All I can say is, 'Keep playing the way you're playing and keep doing what you've got to do for your team and whatever happens, happens at the end of the day.'"

The first significant trade report had Howard going to the Nets to team up with Deron Williams in a packaged deal, featuring center Brook Lopez. Since then, the Lakers have been a strong candidate because they have a future All-Star big man in Andrew Bynum.

Most recently, Amare Stoudemire's name has come up, not only because he's an Orlando native. But such a trade is unlikely to happen for three main reasons: 1.) The Knicks have deemed STAT the face of their franchise's resurgence; 2.) His current contract is not insured because of his past eye and knee injuries; and 3.) The Magic would prefer to trade for a center who could replace Howard at that position. Of course, no one can really replace Howard.

If a trade doesn't happen, the Mavericks will be the major player in the offseason because they've cleared enough cap space to sign D-Howard or D-Will.

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