The Dwight Howard rumors are intensifying and have culminated in a proposed blockbuster trade that would include four different teams.
Here are the details from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
In the proposed deal, Howard, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark would be sent to Brooklyn, and the Magic would receive the Nets' Brook Lopez, Damion James, Sheldon Williams, Cleveland's Luke Walton and three future first-round picks, sources said. Cleveland would receive Orlando's Quentin Richardson, Brooklyn's Sundiata Gaines, Kris Humphries (on a one-year guaranteed deal), a first-round pick and $3 million from the Nets. Brooklyn also would send Brooks to a fourth team to get them an additional first-round pick to send to the Magic.
Assuming that Kris Humphries doesn't get in the way—the big man wants a four-year deal instead of the one-year contract proposed in this trade—let's break down how it would work for each of the four involved teams.
Just going up on ESPN. Clipoers will be 4th team in D Howard deal. They would take back MarShon Brooks in return for a lottery protected 1st— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) July 9, 2012
Sam Amico tweets that more teams could be entering the fray if the Cleveland Cavaliers get cold feet:
Latest on Cavs' involvement in Nets-Magic potential deal says they're still in it, but no more than Bobcats. And get this: T-Wolves in, too.— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) July 10, 2012
Right now, the framework of the deal still depends upon the Clippers' and Cavaliers' involvement, but both organizations could potentially back out and have yet to truly commit to the deal.
If the Cavaliers back out, both the Bobcats and the Timberwolves could step in to help facilitate the deal.
Adrian Wojnarowski is back with more info on the developing situation:
Cleveland is out as a third-team trade partner in a possible Orlando-Brooklyn deal for Dwight Howard, sources tell Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 10, 2012
Look for the Charlotte Bobcats to be the team to step up here, based on Sam Amico's earlier report.
Los Angeles Clippers (or possibly another team)
All the Los Angeles Clippers are doing is sending a first-round pick to the Orlando Magic in exchange for MarShon Brooks.
Brooks had a decent first season in the NBA, as the former Providence guard put up 12.6 points per contest while fighting through injuries throughout the year. He still has a high ceiling and should be a solid player in the league for many years.
A first-round pick is valuable, but the actual value depends on where it lands in the order. A lottery pick is obviously more valuable than the No. 30 slot.
Regardless, though, the value of picks fluctuates because the draft is such a crapshoot. Brooks has already proved that he belongs in the league, and it should come as no surprise that the Clippers got involved.
Unnamed Team (Possibly the Charlotte Bobcats)
Now it gets a little bit more complicated.
The unnamed team would be losing a role player while gaining a first-rounder from the Nets, Quentin Richardson, Sundiata Gaines, Kris Humphries and $3 million from Brooklyn.
That's a pretty good deal for whoever steps up to the plate as they would benefit tremendously from facilitating this deal. Even if Humphries is only on the squad for one season, he brings a tough rebounding presence.
Without giving up much at all from a roster standpoint, the unnamed team would be adding more veterans and expiring contracts without giving up much at all.
The Orlando Magic are stockpiling draft picks here, as they look to move squarely into the rebuilding phase. With four first-round picks coming their way in the future, they will be able to add a good number of young players or package the deals to move up and get a top pick in an upcoming draft.
Additionally, Orlando picks up Brook Lopez and gains one of the best young offensive big men in the game. While Lopez is no Howard, he is definitely a piece worth building around.
Orlando is still losing in this deal and biting the bullet, but it has to, or it will risk getting absolutely nothing for Dwight next summer.
Obviously, the Brooklyn Nets are the big winners in this trade. While they are giving up a lot of players and some draft picks, they are adding a ton of talent, especially with the inclusion of Jason Richardson in the deal.
Howard by himself would have been a nice prize, but J-Rich will be a solid backup behind Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace and a valuable piece to the potentially championship-winning puzzle.
Brooklyn will be left with a starting five of Deron Williams, Johnson, Wallace, Mirza Teletovic and Dwight Howard.
Dwight, D-Will and J.J. may not be the best "big three" in the NBA, but you would be hard-pressed to find a better starting lineup.
In one fell swoop, the Nets could immediately be thrust into the realm of true title contenders.