Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Separating Fact from Fiction with Latest D12 Buzz

Matt Shetler@@buccos12Correspondent IJuly 6, 2012

Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Separating Fact from Fiction with Latest D12 Buzz

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    A couple days have passed since the offseason began and Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard once again requested a trade to the Brooklyn Nets.

    In the days that have passed, several Howard rumors have had the opportunity to die down, while one or two others have begun to gather some steam.

    With that being said, here's another opportunity to separate fact or fiction with all of the latest rumors surrounding the Howard saga.

Brooklyn Nets

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    According to Si.com's Sam Amick, the Nets remain in the running for Howard, but they would have to pay $107.5 million in luxury tax for him, according to the New York Daily News.

    If the Nets pull off a trade with Orlando for Howard and, assuming they re-sign Howard to a max deal and keep the contracts of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace, Prokhorov will pay a luxury tax of approximately $107.5 million over the next four years, according to a league source....

    The package that the Nets would send to Orlando would likely include several draft picks, which won't end up being lottery picks, center Brook Lopez, shooting guard MarShon Brooks and power forward Kris Humphries.

    A third team is probably needed to take Humphries in a sign-and-trade deal, though, and that won't be an easy sell for the Magic, who also probably want to include the contract of Hedo Turkoglu or Jason Richardson in a deal.

    That's something Brooklyn can't absorb.

    Brooklyn's offer just isn't an attractive one, but as long as Howard wants to go there, they remain in play.

    Verdict: Fact

Houston Rockets

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    The Rockets made their play, and if they didn't acquire Howard before the draft, they aren't getting him now, especially after already dealing Kyle Lowry.

    Howard wanted no part of the Rockets, and it's time for them to move on.

    Verdict: Fiction

Golden State Warriors

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    ESPN's Chris Broussard reported that the Warriors are willing to take Howard on without a guarantee that he re-signs with them.

    source says Golden State still willing to trade for Dwight Howard without having commitment from him beyond next season

    — Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 2, 2012

    Yet with an up-and coming team and a solid starting five that can compete in the Western Conference, it makes little sense now for the Warriors to go hard after Howard.

    Verdict: Fiction

Dallas Mavericks

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    The Mavericks have had a rough couple of offseasons since winning the NBA championship in 2011, and after losing out on Deron Williams and watching Jason Kidd leave for the New York Knicks, the Mavs must get Dirk Nowitzki some help.

    However while they remain in the mix for Howard and have plenty of cap space to take him on, the Mavs don't have enough to make a trade.

    Verdict: Fiction

Los Angeles Lakers

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    Even after acquiring Steve Nash, the Lakers have as good of a shot as anyone to acquire Howard.

    Quite simply, no one else can offer a player at the caliber of Andrew Bynum.

    The Lakers would likely need a third team involved to take on one of the Magic's other contracts, and they did give up plenty of draft picks to get Nash, but the Magic have interest in Bynum and that makes them major players.

    Verdict: Fact

Atlanta Hawks

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    The Hawks make perfect sense.

    Howard is from Atlanta and is friends with Josh Smith. In addition, new general manager Danny Ferry cleared enough cap space in a week to build a power in the Eastern Conference.

    Yet Howard has expressed no interest in the Hawks, and while Atlanta has made offers to Orlando, nothing is going to happen without an extension and I doubt that happens.

    If there is a darkhorse in all of this, it's the Hawks, but right now I don't see it.

    Verdict: Fiction