NBA Trade Rumors: More Realistic Options for Brooklyn Nets Than Dwight Howard
According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, there's even some semblance of a framework beginning to take shape:
The Nets and the Magic are discussing a trade that would send Howard to Brooklyn for Brook Lopez,Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and the Nets' first-round draft picks in 2013, 2015 and 2017, sources said.
That wouldn't be a bad haul for the Orlando Magic and new general manager Rob Hennigan. But that doesn't mean it's going to happen.
To hear Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski explain it, the Magic still have their heart set on a package built around Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum. Some of those indications may simply be posturing coming out of Orlando's camp.
The more it appears that the Magic have credible alternatives at their disposal, the more leverage they have when negotiating with Brooklyn.
From Brooklyn's perspective, this uncertainty could be crippling. But that hasn't stopped the organization from putting together some contingency plans. Here are a few to expect.
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He's no Dwight Howard, but Ersan Ilyasova is an up-and-coming big guy who spreads the floor and rebounds. The lean 6'10" forward is coming off his best season yet and would give Brooklyn a significantly more versatile frontline thanks to his superior mobility.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets are already hot on his trail:
The Brooklyn Nets have targeted Milwaukee Bucks restricted free-agent forward Ersan Ilyasova if they fall short of completing a blockbuster trade for Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The only problem with this little arrangement is that Brooklyn could only acquire Ilyasova if the Milwaukee Bucks agreed to sign and trade him to the Nets. Wojnarowski suggests that Milwaukee isn't especially interested in such a deal, so the pursuit may be a non-starter.
On the other hand, if the Nets can convince Ilyasove Brooklyn is the place to be, he might be able to apply some pressure on the Bucks and convince them they're better off receiving some compensation than holding on to a disaffected starter.
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The combination of center Brook Lopez and power forward Kris Humphries may not be ideal, but it could get the job done better than many front-court rotations.
Humphries has a bit of a breakout season this year, and he might look even better next to a healthy Lopez. There's the possibility of some solid chemistry developing.
Humphries has become a rugged rebounder, and Lopez remains an adept scorer from inside and outside the paint. No one is stacking it up to what Howard would look like in a Nets uniform, but it may be a more realistic outcome.
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The Brooklyn Nets don't have the cap room to sign Chris Kaman outright, but they just might be able to convince the New Orleans to help orchestrate a sign-and-trade that would add the Caveman to general manger Billy King's rebuilt roster.
Kaman would come in as a cheaper, older version of Lopez. And he's a bit better rebounder to boot.
Chances aren't especially good that New Orleans will keep Kaman now that Anthony Davis is in the mix, so they could be open to facilitating a move if it returned something valuable in exchange. On the other hand, the Hornets may not be especially eager to add salary to its newly cleaned books unless they're adding a perfect fit.
If the Nets don't hit a home run, making a play for a middle-of-the-road guy like Kaman isn't out of the question.
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Pairing Nene with newly-acquired Emeka Okafor certainly isn't out of the question for the Washington Wizards, but nor would it be surprising for the club to determine that the two big men are too redundant in terms of their size and skill sets.
If the Brooklyn Nets are dead-set on landing a center from outside the organization, Nene might be an option.
It's a lot easier to pry a center away from a team that has two good ones than it ordinarily would be. Who knows if either side would have any interest in such an exchange, but if the Nets don't want to sign Brook Lopez to the long-term deal of his liking, a veteran with a shorter contract could be compelling.
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The Sacramento Kings have made restricted free agent Jason Thompson a pretty nice offer, but they've also reportedly had interest in the Orlando Magic's Ryan Anderson, according to HOOPSWORLD's Steve Kyler:
Latest word is the Kings' multi-year offer to Jason Thompson would start with a salary of about $6 million in the ... sulia.com/c/nba-free-age…— JasonJones (@mr_jasonjones) July 5, 2012
With newly-drafted Thomas Robinson also in the fold, the Kings could find themselves with a bit of a logjam in the paint unless something gives.
Thompson would be the most likely piece to move, and the high-mobile shot-blocker would add some versatility to the Brooklyn Nets' frontline.
By this point, we're clearly taking a massive step down from Dwight Howard, but that's not to say it wouldn't be a good fit.