- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Miami Heat got two more shooters. The Orlando Magic, at least for now, are keeping their center.

A flurry of deals were completed Wednesday and another one was put on hold on the first day contracts could be signed in the NBA.

Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis inked their deals with the NBA champions, who will rely on their perimeter accuracy to create more space on the court for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

The Spurs announced Tim Duncan was staying in San Antonio and the Knicks completed a sign-and-trade to bring Marcus Camby to New York. But there’s no deal for the best big man of them all in the NBA right now.


The Magic can’t find an agreement they like for All-Star center Dwight Howard, who has asked for a trade to Brooklyn. The Magic have tried to accommodate, only to find nothing from the Nets that fit their desires.

“We’ve had discussions with Brooklyn, we’ve had discussions with a host of different teams about a host of different issues. And the answer is, `Yes we’re still talking to them,’” Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said. “We’re still looking to do whatever it is that puts us in the best position from a sustainability standpoint, (and) from a strategic standpoint.

“… Currently as they stand I think the parameters that we’ve talked about are a little bit in a stationary position. And currently as it’s constructed I’m not sure there’s really anything to discuss.”

Instead, the Nets re-signed their current center, Brook Lopez, to an extension. He had been linked to the Howard trade talk for months but knows he will at last begin the season in Brooklyn, ineligible to be traded until Jan. 15.

Free agency opened July 1 and teams were able to begin signing players at 12:01 a.m. EDT Wednesday. Deron Williams got a quick start, signing his five-year, $98 million extension with the Nets while in Las Vegas for the U.S. Olympic team’s training camp right after the window opened.

Even though he hasn’t been able to get Howard, Nets general manager Billy King kept Williams, traded for All-Star guard Joe Johnson and forward Reggie Evans, kept starting forward Gerald Wallace and signed Bosnian forward Mirza Teletovic.

“Billy’s done a good job of making some big moves and it makes us relevant again,” Williams said. “Just the move to Brooklyn itself, being in New York, makes things better.”

Things are looking up for another longtime lowly team, the Los Angeles Clippers. Blake Griffin wanted to be a part of it, signing a five-year extension that could pay him about $95 million.

“It’s exciting and that was the goal from day one, to start building something and not just fall into the history of the program,” Griffin said of the Clippers, who also signed guard Jamal Crawford, “and I think we’ve done a good job of turning the ship in the right direction.”

Allen decided to leave one good situation for another, taking less money from the Heat than the Celtics were offering. With he and Lewis, Miami will have options all over the court.

“You’ve got to double-team LeBron. You have to double-team Dwyane Wade. You’ve got to double-team Chris Bosh. And then you think they’re going to leave Ray Allen open?” Lewis said. “They’ve got to leave somebody open. So I have to go shoot a million jumpers tonight and be ready to knock them down.”

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