Source: Nets Won’t Wait Forever For Howard
The Brooklyn Nets have been trying to trade for Dwight Howard since before they were the Brooklyn Nets, but that’s not likely to continue. As HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy reported earlier, the teams are discussing a move that would send Howard to Brooklyn with Brook Lopez going to the Orlando Magic and Kris Humphries being sent to the Cleveland Cavaliers in sign-and-trade deals.
As many as 11 players and several draft picks would be involved, but before anything is finalized, the Orlando Magic decision makers will spend Monday morning meeting to decide whether or not to move ahead with any deal.
But unlike last December, when the Nets seemed desperate to trade for Howard in order to entice All-Star point guard Deron Williams into signing a multi-year deal, Brooklyn is already a contender in the East. If a trade isn’t completed in the near future, sources have told HOOPSWORLD that the Nets are willing to move on and focus on building a team without Howard.
In other words, we will have a resolution in the near future.
The biggest difference between now and last December is that Williams has agreed to sign a long-term deal with the Nets now that the team has a trade in place to acquire Atlanta Hawks All-Star shooting guard Joe Johnson. And with Gerald Wallace and Bosnian forward Mirza Teletovic prepared to sign after the free agent moratorium is lifted on July 11th, the Nets are really only lacking a talented center. Simply by re-signing Lopez—who led the team in scoring in 2010-2011 before battling foot and ankle injuries last season—the Nets would put themselves in a position to compete for an Eastern Conference crown, so the trade for Howard is seen more as a luxury now than a necessity.
Coach Avery Johnson told reporters, including the New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy, on Sunday that the team’s main focus now is “trying to get Brook Lopez re-signed and get him back in a Nets uniform.”
Should Lopez sign without a sign-and-trade deal in place, he would not be allowed to be traded until December 15th at the earliest.