The Dwight Howard soap opera has to come to an end sometime.
That time will likely be after the All-Star game in Orlando.
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.
Should the Nets include Brooks in a deal for Howard?
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?