The Nets remain very much in the hunt for Dwight Howard — even after agreeing to the outline of a trade that will bring Joe Johnson to Brooklyn.
The goal is to have a Big Three of Deron Williams, Dwight Howard and Johnson, and it remains doable if the Magic are willing to play ball, a league source tells SheridanHoops.com.
Orlando would have to accept a package of Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks and multiple future first-round draft picks, and the Howard deal would take the form of a massive sign-and-trade.
Wallace has already agreed in principle to a four-year, $40 million deal, and the outlines of deals with Lopez and Humphries would have to take shape before the deal could be agreed upon.
Howard has reiterated his insistence that Orlando trade him to Brooklyn, and he told Yahoo Sports that any other team that acquired him would be getting him only as a one-year rental.
Williams met with the Mavericks earlier Tuesday before meeting with the Nets just as they were completing the Johnson deal, in which they agreed to give up a first-round draft pick (Houston’s, lottery protected) along with the expiring contracts of Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow, Jordan Williams and Jordan Farmar, including DeShawn Stevenson in the deal through a sign-and-trade.
Williams has said he wants to make a decision on his future before reporting for Team USA training camp in Las Vegas later this week.
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It is not known what kind of a timetable the Magic are on, or whether they believe they could get a better offer from a team willing to take on the risk of acquiring Howard and then losing him as an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Also, depending on the size of the salaries negotiated for Lopez and Humphries, the Nets could have the means to take back an extra player from Orlando, perhaps Hedo Turkoglu, perhaps Glen Davis.
Brooklyn owns its own draft picks from 2013 through 2018, and if they throw in several of them, it is hard to see Orlando getting a better deal from a third team.