ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported that the Nets are willing to give up Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, Marshon Brooks and their first-round draft picks in 2013, 2015 and 2017 in exchange for the All-Star center.
This is the best offer Orlando could possibly hope to get from New Jersey, as these are the three best players the Nets are willing to trade.
It would be a risky move for any team but Brooklyn to trade for Howard after he told Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowksi, "There’s only one team on my list and if I don’t get traded there, I'll play the season out and explore my free agency after that." The one team on his list is the Nets.
Without the guarantee of a long-term deal, it's difficult to see a team like the Los Angeles Lakers parting ways with Andrew Bynum, despite another report from Wojnarowski stating that the young center is the Magic’s primary target in a deal involving Howard.
Howard’s insistence that he will only re-sign with the Nets is limiting the Magic’s options. Even though Howard has changed his mind frequently throughout this whole ordeal, giving up an All-Star player would be extremely risky, given the potential that the superstar center might walk after just one season.
The longer the Magic decide to drag their feat on this deal, the less leverage they will have. Right now, they still have the advantage that a team like the Houston Rockets may be willing to risk a trade for Howard.
If new general manager Rob Hennigan waits and weighs his options, Howard may continue to reiterate his stance on only re-signing with the Nets, and other teams may turn a cold shoulder to the Magic.
If that happens, the Nets may even be able to reduce their current offer.
But the real benefit of taking the Nets’ deal is simply putting an end to the whole saga. Yes, Howard is an All-NBA player and the most dominant defensive force in the game, but the Magic are not going to be able to keep him.
Given Howard’s volatile mood throughout the process, he could alter his stance in a way that would allow the Magic to get a better deal, but he could also do exactly the opposite.
Howard and the Magic have put their fans and the rest of the players on the roster through enough, and it is time for them to part ways.
The Nets’ deal is nothing for the Magic executives to jump for joy over, but it is not a terrible deal. At this point, the Magic must move forward and pull the trigger on this deal.