When Dwight Howard is eligible for free agency, almost every team will make some kind of bid for his services.
He is establishing himself as the most dominant center in the game today, and he can even enter the conversation of the greatest all-time centers if he continues his current level of play.
The New Jersey Nets have already said they would make a run at Howard if the Orlando Magic fail to lock him up long term.
The Nets just traded for Deron Williams, so adding Howard would further solidify New Jersey as a perennial contender, especially as they make the move to Brooklyn.
It may seem like a long shot now, but here are five ways that Williams and the Nets can lure “Superman” to Brooklyn.
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has money and he’s willing to spend it.
Dwight Howard will command close to maximum salary, and the Nets will be prepared with a high offer.
The salary cap in the NBA hinders big-market teams from snatching up all the talent, so the Nets will have to budget wisely.
However, I’m sure they’d be able to clear space for Dwight Howard.
In order to lure Dwight Howard away from Orlando, the Nets will have to show they can win games.
Granted, Howard would be a primary reason for the Nets' success if they signed him.
However, other teams—like the LA Lakers, Miami Heat and New York Knicks, just to name a few—will be in the sweepstakes.
Compared to the Nets, those teams are built for championship runs right now (the Lakers and Heat more so than Knicks).
Closing out this season strong, coupled with a playoff appearance next season, may allow Howard to see the positive direction in which this franchise is headed.
Despite the 17-43 record, the Nets have played some good basketball at times this season.
They seem to be in most games, until a bad quarter spells their fate.
The Nets will need to acquire at least one or two quality pieces this offseason if they plan on making a run at Dwight Howard.
They have a point guard in Deron Williams and a decent combination at shooting guard with Anthony Morrow and Sasha Vujacic.
Rookie small forward Damion James has shown positive strides since returning from injury, but an upgrade at this position may be in order.
The Nets do still have Brook Lopez playing center, so it would interesting to see what they do with him if they signed Howard.
Lopez could possibly slide into the power forward position, which would form a dominant big-man tandem if the Nets sign Howard. Kris Humphries would be able to come off the bench and spell both players.
Of course, the team could also look to trade Lopez.
There’s no point in the Nets going after Dwight Howard if they fail to sign Deron Williams to a long-term contract.
Those two would form a great connection, and the Nets would easily be considered a top five team in the Eastern Conference.
Hopefully the Nets play well enough next season to lock up Williams, preferably before the season ends.
That way, Howard will know Williams will be there, which would definitely influence his decision.
Dwight Howard would be the perfect face to market as the Nets prepare to move to Brooklyn.
(Maybe not the face pictured here, but you get the point.)
With the Knicks having improved, through their acquisitions of Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups, the Nets will have to respond in a big way.
Trading for Deron Williams was one thing, but being able to convince Howard to play in Brooklyn would really stick it to the cross-town rivals.
Though he already receives plenty of publicity, Howard would become one of the faces of the NBA playing on the big stage of New York.
If a few things fall into place, the Nets can make this currently far-fetched proposition a reality.