Significant progress was made over the weekend on a proposed trade that would send Dwight Howard to the Brooklyn Nets, but there was still work being done Monday to get a fourth team involved –a development that would increase the total number of players in the deal to 12 or more.
Three league sources told SheridanHoops.com that there were “several moving pieces and parts” that were keeping the deal from being agreed to by all parties, but that the Cleveland Cavaliers would be “extremely well-compensated with draft picks and money” for taking on Kris Humphries in the trade.
Humphries and Howard share the same agent, Dan Fegan.
No deals can be announced until July 11, meaning the trade could not take place until 12:01 a.m. EDT Wednesday at the earliest. And while other teams continue to engage new Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan with proposals, the package of players and picks that Brooklyn is offering could end up being the most enticing.
Brook Lopez, Humphries, MarShon Brooks and three of the Nets’ No. 1 draft picks over the next five years would be the main pieces leaving Brooklyn in the deal, but additional players including Damion James, Shelden Williams and Armon Johnson were being worked into the deal to make it work under salary-cap rules. Additionally, Brooklyn could surrender several second-round draft picks.
The end result would be a deal that lands Howard in his preferred destination, forming a superstar threesome of Howard, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson for the Nets’ move into their new arena in Brooklyn this fall, and a massive rebuilding project in Orlando in which Hennigan would attempt to rebuild the team in the same manner his old boss, Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti, did with the Sonics-Thunder franchise.
Adrian Wojnarowski of YahooSports said the framework of the deal includes Howard, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark to Brooklyn, and the Magic receiveingthe Nets’ Brook Lopez, Damion James, Sheldon Williams, Cleveland’s Luke Walton and three future first-round picks. Cleveland would receive Orlando’s Quentin Richardson, Brooklyn’s Sundiata Gaines, Humphries (on a one-year guaranteed deal), a first-round pick and $3 million from the Nets.
ESPN.com’s Chad Ford said the Los Angeles Clippers would be the fourth team, taking on Brooks in exchange for a first-round pick that would be sent to Orlando.
The Magic have reportedly already agreed to a sign-and-trade deal that would send Ryan Anderson to the New Orleans Hornets for center Gustavo Ayon and other compensation. New Orleans also is expected to match the four-year, $48 million offer sheet that Eric Gordon has agreed to with the Phoenix Suns.
Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com, who has been out front with this story, reported that Orlando will make one last weep around the league before accepting a Nets offer. Rudolph said the currently proposed deal would include 11 players, cash and multiple draft picks.
One obstacle that threatened to derail the Nets — Brooklyn’s signing of Mirza Teletovic — has been resolved by Teletovic agreeing to take a lesser salary that originally proposed, preventing the Nets from running up against a new collective bargaining rule that would impose a hard cap on their salaries at $74 million. The salaries of Howard, Johnson, Williams, Teletovic and Gerald Wallace would total about $70 million, and Brooklyn would still make an effort to re-sign Gerald Green — although he could receive double the compensation that the Nets could offer if a different team signed him using exception money.