NBA Rumors: Why Brooklyn Nets Need to Stay Away from Dwight Howard

Matt DunnCorrespondent IJuly 2, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 30:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic drives aganst Ian Mahinmi #28 of the Dallas Mavericks during the game at Amway Center on March 30, 2012 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 Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Any Brooklyn Nets fan should have been elated to hear Chris Broussard's report earlier this week that Dwight Howard now wants to be traded to the Nets. What fan wouldn't be excited to hear it?

With that news the Nets could have two top-five players at their respective positions, assuming point guard Deron Williams re-signs with the team as well. 

What that would do for the Nets' immediate future is make them serious competitors in the Eastern Conference.

Obviously there are a lot of moves yet to be made but right now the Miami Heat are obviously the number-one team. If Derrick Rose can come back at full strength then the Chicago Bulls will be number two, and if Ray Allen sticks around the Boston Celtics will be number three. 

After that there are a handful of teams that can fill out the rest of the Eastern Conference playoff bracket, and the Nets would be one of them.

But there's more to the scenario than simply the amount of talent the Nets could end up having on their roster.

Dwight Howard officially said that he would only sign an extension with one team. While he didn't specify which team, the Broussard report indicates that the team is the Nets.

The problem is that if the Nets plan on keeping both Howard and Williams, as well as Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez, they won't have any cap room for the rest of the team.

I know Mikhail Prokhorov has some crazy amount of money from his days in Russia, but that won't stop the Nets from being wildly over the cap if they want to keep these players on the roster and have a half-decent supporting cast. 

This move could potentially cripple the Nets for years. 

I understand that they want Deron Williams back on the team, but without securing another star-caliber player, that will be hard, especially when Dallas is so interested as well.

What the Nets should not do is allow themselves to be blinded by the big name and the star power—they should do what's best for their team.

Yes, they were 22-44 last season, so it's not like they were burning down the standings by any means. But they are trending upward. Taking on a contract like Dwight Howard's when you're trying to re-sign Deron Williams, you just committed $10 million a year to Gerald Wallace and you still have to work out re-signing Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries?

This would be a massive mistake that will end up setting them back in the long run.