Dwight Howard to Nets?

There is a question mark in that headline because there needs to be one.

Things are going to change by the hour today, and who knows what kind of twists and turns the Chris Paul trade fiasco is going to take before the league officially re-opens for business at 2 p.m. EST.

In case you missed it, 86 percent of the players who cast ball0ts voted to approve the new labor agreement before commissioner David Stern 86’d the three-team trade that would have sent Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers. If that vote were to be held again today, there’s no way that percentage would come in so high.

So what does this mean for Dwight Howard? I was hearing last night that a Howard-to-LA trade was a real possibility, and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert mentioned the same thing in his e-mail to the commissioner urging him to void the Paul deal.

Nevertheless, Chris Broussard of ESPN is reporting that Howard is prepared to tell the Magic he wants to be traded to the New Jersey Nets:

“Howard has yet to tell the Magic he will not re-sign with them after this season, but the sources said he will within the next few days, perhaps as early as Friday. There is also a chance that Howard will not attend the opening of training camp Friday, according to a source. As ESPN.com reported last week, the Nets are ready to offer the Magic a package built around center Brook Lopez and two first-round draft picks, New Jersey’s own and one the Nets acquired from Houston in a previous trade, according to sources. New Jersey is also willing to take back Hedo Turkoglu and the three years, $34 million remaining on his deal. … The Nets are continuing to pursue free-agent center Nene in case their plan to acquire Howard falls through.”

In Florida, columnist Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel weighs in:

“If Howard makes it known that he will only sign long-term with New Jersey, other potential bidders would be scared away by the slim chances of re-signing him. And if other teams are too scared to make substantial bids, the Nets will have the best offer on the block. Magic officials like Lopez, a 7-foot-tall center who is about to enter only his fourth NBA season. But that “like” is relative. The number of quality centers is at its lowest level in decades, and it’s not necessarily a great achievement to be, say, the eighth-to-10th best center in the game. The Los Angeles Lakers’ Andrew Bynum, another 7-footer, hasn’t reached his potential yet, and he’s an injury risk already at 24 years old with questionable knees. But his upside is much higher than Lopez’, and Magic officials know it. What the Nets could offer is the ability to put the Magic far under the cap: The Magic would be sending out far more money than they’d be taking in. And then the Magic could use the amnesty provision on Gilbert Arenas. Those moves would suddenly give the Magic some badly needed payroll flexibility.

It remains to be sen what kind of trickle-down effect the events of last night will have on other teams’ planned roster moves. For instance, do the Knicks still want to amnesty Chauncey Billups in order to facilitate a deal that would bring them Tyson Chandler? Or does it behoove them to hold their cards until they see how the CP3 situation shakes out? Remember, Paul’s preferred destination from the get-go was New York, and the New York Post is reporting that the Knicks made an offer of Amare Stoudemire for Paul.

Fasten your seat belts, folks. It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride today.



  1. Sean says

    Makes you wonder if the Magic were offered Bynum and Gasol for D12 and Hedo with the Magic turning around and sending Gasol to Houston for what they were going to give to NO if that would go through. Would be interesting to see how good Orlando would be with Bynum/Scola/Martin/Reddick/Nelson/Anderson/Bass. While nowhere near the Heat level of talent, that wouldn’t be a team to take that lightly if everyone was healthy.

    D12/Odom/Hedo/Kobe/Fisher/MWP would probably be better than the Paul scenario as well.

    • Matthew says

      He’s just reporting what’s out there and what his opinion is. Would you prefer all sportswriters to collaborate on their stories and come out with the same message? The job of a sportswriter is to chime in with what he thinks. If you don’t like his writing, go to a different site. And if you don’t think Gasol and Bynum is a better offer than Brooke Lopez and a couple middling draft picks, you’re delusional. I would rather not see Howard end up a Laker, but him requesting a trade to NJ was probably formed after he thought Paul was going to the Lakers. In other words, the Lakers wouldn’t have anybody left to trade for him.

  2. Wes says

    Oh what a bittersweet pill for Mr. Sheridan to swallow if the Nets do indeed pull off the D12 trade. Keep going Chrissy there is still time to spread Uncle Jimmy’s yellow journalist regarding their neighbors across the river. Only which river will that be in 2012 going forward???

  3. Mike says

    Being a Jazz fan I would love to see the Lakers fall apart, so killing the trade couldn’t be any better. Odom is pretty fragile and this is really going to send him into a funk. Who knows how Gasol will respond after an already shaky playoffs.

    I haven’t had an issue with Stern or the league until recently and this is probably my tipping point. I think a lot of the decisions he’s made (age minimums, dress code, etc) have been good for the league as a whole, but nixing the Paul trade is just dumb. There’s no clear consensus that this trade would have made the Lakers that much better (I’ve seen a good mix arguing both sides) but it would have done a terrific job stabilizing the Hornets. The Jazz made a nearly identical trade last season and nobody seemed to mind.
    As a Jazz fan I actually liked this trade for our team. The Lakers greatest advantage over us was the Bynum-Gasol-Odom trio. That much length with good talent made it impossible for us to compete. Getting rid of the two most consistent of parts of that trio would have made our lives that much better.

  4. Matt says

    HAHAHAHAHAHA oh Chrissy you make me laugh. Please don’t breakdown if Dwight comes to New Jersey, I need to see to squirm through season after season of the the Knicks being little brother. And you can forget CP3 to the Knicks, if the league blocked a deal to LA, no WAY he does to NYC. Looks like those rat traps caught us a big one!!! Follow the cheese to Brooklyn.

  5. Eric says

    The league is in almost absolute chaos at this point. Chris, what I’m wondering about is what long-term damage is going to be here? There’s a lot of fans who’ve supported their teams and have grown tired of the few big markets (plus a few anomalies, e.g. OKC, Spurs) controlling the league.

    Much of the great reporting over the lockout made the point that the labor deal wasn’t going to create a competitive balance no matter what PR spin the league was feeding the writers and public.

    As a longtime fan, myself and many of my friends will substantially lose interest in the league. Take my team, the Magic. So, if the rumors are correct and D12 forces a trade to team up with DWill, you’ve created yet another super team. And, who’s to say, as you’ve reported that the league is going to let that happen. What if the league interferes in another superstar moving? Now you get the NBAPA lawyers involved with violations of contractual rules and obligations, etc.

    As a fan, after a while, it gets old.

    The NBA is turning into the WWE. It’s a whole soap opera and the main feature, which is the game of basketball, is getting totally lost. Countless prima donnas with their entitlement attitude, it’s something to behold. David Stern wanted to leave on a high horse with the multibillion dollar a year behemoth that he crafted. Instead, he’s looks to be leaving having his work descend into a laughingstock.

    • ignarus says

      It seems less likely that the league interferes with a trade that doesn’t involve the Hornets.

      This was ridiculous bullshit, but it strikes me as qualitatively different from nixing trades that *don’t* involve a league-owned team.

      I’d be laughing if this wasn’t so f–ed up.


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