NBA Trade Rumors: MarShon Brooks Could Be Nets' Key to Landing Dwight Howard

Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IFebruary 1, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 13:  MarShon Brooks #9 of the New Jersey Nets in action during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 13, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Nets defeated the Suns 110-103.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Dwight Howard soap opera has to come to an end sometime.

That time will likely be after the All-Star game in Orlando.

While Howard has flirted with the idea of both the Los Angeles Clippers and Chicago Bulls in recent weeks, the New Jersey Nets are still viewed as the favorites for the Orlando big man.

There have been a couple attempts already by the Nets in order to land Howard, with both deals using center Brook Lopez as the centerpiece for a deal.

Once he's fully healthy, Lopez would certainly still be the main piece of New jersey's attempt to acquire Howard, but it's rookie MarShon Brooks who could prove to be the key in any possible Howard trade.

If a trade package featuring Lopez and two future first-round picks for Howard and the horrible contract of Hedo Turkoglu wasn't enough, the Nets will have some work to do.

Then there was the proposed three-team deal that also involved the Portland Trail Blazers.

If none of those situations could get Howard into a Nets' uniform, there's still one possibility.

That involves Brooks.

While he hasn't been rumored in any potential deal as of yet, Brooks could turn out to be the key for the Nets to eventually land Howard.

Brooks is a talented young scorer. One the Magic certainly would find as an intriguing option.

Considering what adding Brooks to the deal would do for the Magic, it would almost be too tough to turn down.

With Lopez and Brooks, the Magic would get a productive young center to go along with a guard that likely should be a 20-plus point per game scorer for years to come.

They also would get a pair of first-round picks to further build their future, and some much needed cap relief by shipping Turkoglu's contract out the door as well.

That's probably as good as an offer the Magic will get.

In the end though Brooks turns out to be the key in the Nets attempt to land Howard.

Will the Nets be too reluctant to include him in a deal?

If landing Howard and keeping Deron Williams in a Nets uniform is truly their top priorities, then it should be a no-brainer.