NBA Rumors: Nets Look to Be Eventual Landing Spot for Dwight Howard

T.J. Mcaloon@@tjmcaloonContributorFebruary 6, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 21: Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic argues a call during a preseason game against the Miami Heat at Amway Center on December 21, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. 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 Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The NBA trade deadline is approaching at an extremely fast rate, and teams are starting to heat up their rumor mills about which players are going to be moved on March 15th. 

One of the biggest rumors is the Orlando Magic moving Dwight Howard somewhere. 

It looks like that somewhere will be to New Jersey, to play with Deron Williams and the Nets, before they move to Brooklyn next year. 

According to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.com via Netsarescorching.com:

When asked about the latest he’s heard in the Dwight Howard trade rumors:

“The Nets are the front-runners. I do think he ends up on the Nets, at some point. I’ve been told by people in Dwight’s life that he will be on the Nets, it’s just a matter of how and when.”

On the draws of playing in Brooklyn, with Deron:

“Brooklyn’s part of the draw, he definitely wants to go to a large market.” “Him and Deron are getting closer, which helps.” "He wants to create a legacy of his own without being a second fiddle… he wants help, but he wants to be the face of the franchise.” “Deron has done a good job selling it: ‘you can be the face of the franchise.’ Deron realizes that Dwight is a top-3 player in the game.”

However, in that same interview, they go over Orland keeping Howard past the March 15th trade deadline, and waiting to see if Howard would leave $30 million behind for a chance to play elsewhere. 

Kennedy goes on to say: 

“If Orlando tries to hold onto Dwight and call his bluff in July, saying ‘we don’t think you’re going to leave $30 million on the table, go sign elsewhere if you want to,’ I’m hearing that Dwight would do that. He’s not afraid to leave $30 million on the table.”

Howard is one of the top players in the league. In every game he brings the possibility of scoring 20 or more points, while grabbing 15 or more rebounds. Plus, his defensive abilities make it almost impossible for opposing offenses to score near the basket.

Having Howard on the Nets would give them a deadly one-two punch that would help them contend in a stacked Eastern Conference. 

Currently, the Nets are 8-17 overall, which is good enough to be only three games out of the final playoff spot. Assuming the Nets stay at their current pace, they should be either at or around 11th in the conference standings at the trade deadline.

Adding Howard should be enough to shoot the Nets past the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final playoff spot. 

If they can enter the postseason with the deadly combo of Williams and Howard, they will be a tough out for a top seeded team like Chicago or Miami

However, they have to find a way to have the right trade pieces to get Orlando to move their franchise player.   

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