Dwight Howard Rumors: Brooklyn Nets Smart to Let Deal Die

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIJuly 11, 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

After nearly two years of trying to land Dwight Howard, the Brooklyn Nets have finally given up the chase. ESPN's Ric Bucher is reporting that the Nets have ended talks with the Orlando Magic that could have resulted in Howard heading north. After all this time and countless failed deals and false starts in pursuit of the six-time All-Star, the Nets did the right thing by breaking off talks.

The Howard saga has dragged on far too long and has prevented the Nets from taking care of other business. One thing general manager Billy King must now do is convince Brook Lopez that he is who the team wants in the post long-term.

Lopez only played five games during the 2011-12 season thanks to two different broken bones in his right foot. But during the 2010-11 season, Lopez averaged 20.4 pounds, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game playing in all 82 of the Nets' contests. 

The 24-year-old is in line to sign a four-year, $58 million extension this offseason, and the Nets could also guarantee a fifth year which would bring the overall value of the deal to around $70 million.

Whatever Brooklyn decides to do, it needs to happen fast as NBA free agency officially opened on Wednesday and the team must surround stars Deron Williams and Joe Johnson with talent. Without Howard coming to town, the Nets have to figure out how to improve the rest of their roster because as things stand now they are not a contender in the Eastern Conference. 

Moving on from Howard was the right thing to do for now. The Magic and Nets were never a good match for a trade as currently constructed, which is why things have taken so many odd turns. Both teams need to step back and address their other issues now, since a Howard deal between them won't be going down any time soon.