The Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic are reportedly on the verge of striking a deal that would send Dwight Howard to Brooklyn.
Update 3: Monday, July 9 at 11:32 a.m. ET by Joel C. Cordes
Whether it becomes a three- or four-trade deal remains up in the air, but ESPN's Chris Broussard thinks that Jason Richardson will be a part of the deal either way:
This would make sense, as MarShon Brooks is likely to be leaving Brooklyn as part of the trade. Thus, the Nets would need some sort of scoring punch and versatility off their suddenly shallow bench.
Richardson is a solid shooter who can still put the ball on the floor, and his veteran experience would be welcomed for a second unit that's likely to consist of NBA leftovers.
Brooklyn is willing to gut the rest of the roster if it lands them Dwight Howard to play alongside Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace and (presumably) Mirza Teletovic in the starting lineup.
Update 2: Monday, July 9 at 10:42 a.m. ET by Joel C. Cordes
Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Dwight Howard trade parameters have expanded to include yet another team:
As if the Howard saga didn't already feel like a whirlpool, it appears that it's swirling around more and more players and franchises as we speak. This has the makings of an all-time NBA blockbuster deal; stay tuned here for latest updates.
-Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Dwight Howard offseason tracker.
Update: Monday, July 9 at 10:42 a.m. ET by Joel C. Cordes
Numerous sources are reporting that the Dwight Howard to Brooklyn Nets deal has found new legs thanks to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Orlando Magic brass are apparently meeting at 9 a.m. Monday to discuss their options. While this deal had long appeared to be floundering, the Cleveland Cavaliers' sudden interest in acquiring Nets free-agent power forward Kris Humphries appears to be the new variable.
As reported by ESPN, the Cavaliers could also be receiving MarShon Brooks as part of the package, something the Orlando Magic had appeared disinterested in up to this point.
It is unknown yet which Cleveland players and/or picks would be heading to the Magic, but they would certainly have to contribute a reasonably large cache to the Brooklyn bevy of draft picks and Brook Lopez that are headed Orlando's way.
This story could be resolved by the end of the day, so stay tuned here for the latest updates.
-Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Orlando Magic offseason tracker.
Update: Sunday, July 8 at 12:04 p.m. ET by Stephen Babb
The Orlando Magic appear to be nearing a three-team deal that would send Dwight Howard to his preferred destination of the Brooklyn Nets. According to HOOPSWORLD's Alex Kennedy, the third team in this scenario may be the Cleveland Cavaliers:
Kennedy further explains that while new Orlando general manager Rob Hennigan and the front office are mulling things over, we could have an end to this ongoing drama by Monday:
According to Real GM's Jarrod N. Rudolph, this deal will be every bit as complicated as the storyline leading up to it:
It's hard to imagine the Magic determining that a better deal is available. With Howard so unwilling to sign extensions with teams outside of Brooklyn, the market for his services has narrowed.
Additionally, the opportunity to acquire a platoon of young talent and picks alike probably won't reemerge anytime soon. If the Magic are to make a deal and get maximum return for Howard's services, now is almost certainly the time to do it.
---End of Update---
UPDATE: Sunday, July 8 at 8:20 p.m. ET by Sam Quinn
If this trade does come to fruition, it would be the first major blockbuster of the NBA summer and would change the landscape of the Eastern Conference.
The Magic obviously wouldn't be the contender that they were with Howard, but the Nets would catapult all the way to the top-third of the standings with one of the best big men in the league in the paint.
It will come as a relief to many if this saga may be put to rest after months of chaos and swirling rumors within the NBA community. Of course, all reports must be taken with a grain of salt, but this is the first time that we've heard the phrases "very close" and "very soon" regarding this trade.
Stay tuned to Bleacher Report for all the latest on this situation.
---End of Update---
This won't come as a surprise to most NBA fans. Dwight Howard officially told new Magic GM Rob Hennigan that he would like to be a Brooklyn Net, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard.
UPDATE: Sunday, July 8 at 5:48 p.m. ET by Richard Langford
The New Jersey Nets are looking to work a three-team deal that will land them Howard. Apparently they need the third team so they can sign-and-trade Kris Humphries.
CBS Sports' Ken Berger reports that sources say they are "making progress" in this regard. If this is true, the Nets must be considered the front-runners in this trade race. It seems unlikely that they would go chasing down a third team for this deal if they didn't have strong indications the Magic were on board.
UPDATE: Thursday, July 5 at 3:25 p.m. ET — Stephen Babb
At one point, it seemed like the Nets and Magic were worlds apart on finding a trade framework that would interest new Orlando general manager Rob Hennigan. Nevertheless, according to CBS Sports' Ken Berger, the two sides have kept at it and may be making some progress:
The Nets and Magic are "still plugging away" with possible Howard trade scenarios, according to a person familiar with the process. "Everything is in play," said another person connected to the talks, including a possible deal with theLakers, whose stunning acquisition of Steve Nash Wednesday night may have pushed them onto Howard's radar as a team with whom he'd sign an extension if traded.
For a deal of this magnitude, there are any number of iterations that it could take, including—as Berger mentions—deals involving a third team.
Hennigan is in no rush to move Howard. He likely took note of how the Denver Nuggets' patience in moving Carmelo Anthony ultimately yielded a bounty of young assets. Waiting things out this summer could similarly give Orlando the best head start in rebuilding for the post-Dwight era.
---End of Update---
This is "old hat" for people following the situation. Howard's interest in the Nets is well-documented, and it has been for about a year. The Nets have the assets to make the move, and Deron Williams' presence makes them a tantalizing option for the All-Star center.
I'd expect Howard to move eventually. The bad blood seems to be bubbling over between the Magic organization and Howard's camp. According to Broussard, Howard believes he was "blackmailed."
Howard picked up the option for the final year of his contract with Orlando on March 15. But since then he has grown increasingly disgruntled with the organization, even telling people close to him that he feels the Magic "blackmailed" him into signing the "opt-in" clause. Howard feels the Magic made promises that have not been kept to get him to sign.
A deal is not imminent. The specific pieces are not in place, but a deal could happen by the end of the summer. Of course, all of this depends on the Nets, Williams and Brooklyn's pursuit of Joe Johnson.