NBA AM: Is Dwight Headed To Brooklyn?
Packing For Brooklyn?: The morning chatter and cell phone inbox says the Orlando Magic and New Jersey had “fruitful” discussions with the Brooklyn Nets yesterday and that the two teams have started talking specifics on a Dwight Howard trade that could clear out the Magic roster.
ESPN’s Chris Broussard is reporting that the framework discussed with the Magic would have Dwight Howard landing in Brooklyn with a re-signed Brook Lopez, a re-signed Kris Humphries and guard MarShon Brooks coming to Orlando along with three unprotected draft picks from New Jersey said to be in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
There has been speculation that Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu would be included in the deal, however sources close to the process could not confirm Turks inclusion in the deal.
Sources warn that nothing is done on this front and that talks will continue today, but that the tone of the talks yesterday was more progressive and that something looked possible if all things line up.
The first hurdle for the Nets and Magic is getting both Lopez and Humphries to agree to new contracts. The Collective Bargaining Agreement requires players to sign at least a three-year contract to be included in a trade, however only the first year has to be fully guaranteed.
Both players possess a little leverage because of the pressure on Orlando to make a deal and they are surely going to use it. The more dollars those players command in their new deals in turn makes the total trade value larger, which is how Hedo Turkoglu could get forced into the deal.
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement does allow for very steep declines in contracts which could also work in Orlando’s favor. They could agree to near max level deals – $14 million – with both players in Year 1 of the deal to clear out the cap and then drastically reduce them by as much as 40% in Year 2 to create cap room.
The Nets are under no obligation to accommodate Orlando’s desire to dump unfavorable contracts as the tone out of Brooklyn yesterday afternoon as they consummated the Joe Johnson trade with the Hawks was they were moving on without Howard, so the Magic may not be able to force much more into the deal than they are.
After yesterdays’ trade with the Hawks that sent out almost everything on the Nets roster, Brooklyn has almost nothing on the salary cap but league required cap holds. As things stand today the Nets have Joe Johnson’s $19.75 million, an expected $17.71 million new deal with Deron Williams and an agreed to deal with Gerald Wallace that sources say will be a lot closer to $9 million for the first year, giving the Nets $46.6 million plus cap holds. Adding Dwight Howard’s $19.53 million, gives the Nets $65.99 million in commitments to their four players. It’s not ideal, but that’s how the Heat and Knicks were constructed.
Such a combination of big dollar players would almost assure the Nets are luxury tax payers for the foreseeable future, but when Mikhail Prokhorov bought the team, he said he’d pay the price to be a winner. Looks like it’s time to write the check.
Some Random Notes: As Day 2 of NBA Free Agency came to a close a lot more happened, but ere are still lots of undecided situations, here are some of them:
Bulls Being Patient: Let’s call the Chicago Bulls value shoppers. They have not been involved with many of the major named Free Agent players, but they were quick to get on the phone with former Blazer Brandon Roy and have expressed a lot of interest in a possible multi-year deal. The Bulls were also in the hunt for Derek Fisher who is fresh off a Finals run with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder would like to bring Fish back and can offer a little more money than Chicago, but the Bulls appear to be willing to do a multi-year deal with Fish too.
Don’t expect the Bulls to pull off anything crazy, they’d really like to keep their core intact and add better pieces around them. So far in free agency that’s what it looks like they are doing.
Ray-Ray Has Suitors: When the season ended for the Celtics it was all but decided that Celtics’ guard Ray Allen was taking his three ball to South Beach. The problem is on his way south a half dozen teams called trying to sway him in their direction, including the Celtics who offered a three-year $18 million package.
Allen is taking his time with the process and is doing most of the work via the telephone taking phone meetings with the Clippers, Grizzlies, Timberwolves and HEAT.
The Celtics are still very much in the picture for Ray and they view him as their player to lose. Ray has not made any commitments to anyone, but has hinted that he’ll decide his future before the July 11th moratorium is lifted so the teams not in the running can sign other players.
Show Me the Mayo: If you were dreaming of OJ Mayo with your team’s Mid-Level salary exception, you better think again. Sources close to the process say OJ and his agent are not listening to teams with offers built around the Mid-Level and view OJ as the consolation prize for teams like Indiana, Phoenix, Houston and New Orleans if they cannot lure in Eric Gordon or guards like Ray Allen and Jamal Crawford.
Mayo has heard from a large number of teams and sources close to the process say he’ll have no problem inking a big deal once teams can actually sign players.
Dragic and Rockets Far Apart? The Houston Rockets were thinking a deal in the $8 million per year range for point guard Goran Dragic, however Dragic’s camp is looking for something in the $10 million per year range.
That’s a massive number for Goran, but it’s also why Goran is meeting with other teams namely the Phoenix Suns and the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors are awaiting word from Steve Nash, and if he opts not to take their $36 million deal, they’ll turn to Dragic.
Houston is still very much in the mix because they can offer a fifth year and larger annual increases, but it does not look like Houston is ready to up the price for Dragic just yet.
Because the Rockets hold Dragic’s rights, they could do a sign and trade deal… maybe that’s how Toronto gets rid of Jose Calderon… just sayin.
Make sure to check out the 2012 NBA Free Agent Diary for the very latest news, notes, rumors and deals that happen this off-season.
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NBA Chats: There are three NBA chats scheduled for today starting with HOOPSWORLD’s Anthony Macri at 10am. Coach Macri works with The AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League in Southeast Asia and is based in Jakarta. Coach Macri is involved in all aspects of the leagues operation as a consultant and has worked with dozens of NBA players developing their game. Senior NBA writer Eric Pincus will hold down his weekly NBA chat at 4pm EST. Eric covers the Western Conference from LA with the Lakers and the Clippers. Stephen Litel will wrap up the day with his weekly NBA Chat at 8pm EST. You can always find the next upcoming chat here: Upcoming NBA Chats. If you are looking for a completed chat, check the Chat Archive.