There is still a chance thatÂ Orlando MagicÂ starÂ Dwight HowardÂ could become a member of the Brooklyn Nets, according to league sources.
The Nets and theÂ Orlando MagicÂ are discussing a trade that would send Howard to the Nets forÂ Brook Lopez,Â Kris Humphries,Â MarShon BrooksÂ and the Nets’ first-round picks in 2013, 2015 and 2017, sources said. Lopez and Humphries, who are both free agents, would go to Orlando in sign-and-trade deals.
The move would be the Nets’ second blockbuster trade this week and give them a Big 3 of Howard,Â Deron WilliamsÂ andÂ Joe JohnsonÂ that could rival the NBA championÂ Miami Heat’s heralded trio ofÂ LeBron James,Â Dwyane WadeÂ andÂ Chris Bosh.
On Monday, the Nets agreed to terms with theÂ Atlanta HawksÂ on a trade that sends Johnson to Brooklyn for the expiring contracts ofÂ Jordan Farmar,Â Johan Petro,Â Anthony MorrowÂ andÂ Jordan Williams, plusÂ DeShawn StevensonÂ and the 2013 first-round pick they acquired from Houston.
The Nets are still waiting on Williams to tell them whether he will re-sign with them as a free agent, but sources say Williams was pleased with the trade for Johnson, so he is expected to stay. An additional trade for Howard would undoubtedly seal the deal.
If consummated, the trade would give Howard what he has wanted for the past seven months. In December, Howard asked the Magic to trade him to the Nets.
After waiving his opt-out clause for next season in March, he again asked Orlando several times to trade him to the Nets, most recently last Friday in his first face-to-face meeting with new Magic GM Rob Hennigan.
On Monday, Howard told Yahoo! Sports that he would only sign a long-term contract with the Nets, but after the Nets’ trade with Atlanta for Johnson, the chances of Howard going to Brooklyn appeared dead.
In fact, several executives involved in the talks privately said there was no chance of Howard being traded to the Nets.
But the two clubs eventually rekindled talks about a potential Howard trade.
“With the Nets thought to be out of the picture Monday night, theÂ Los Angeles Lakers, who can offerÂ Andrew Bynum, the Hawks, who can offerÂ Al HorfordÂ andÂ Jeff Teague, and theÂ Dallas Mavericks, who could sign Howard as a free agent next summer, had emerged as the likeliest destinations for Howard.”
Of course, any of those scenarios could still play out as the Magic are considering all their options.
A trio of Williams, Howard and Johnson would be a boon for the Nets as they open their first season in Brooklyn this fall.