Dwight Howard to the New Jersey Nets: Does Trade Make the Nets a Contender?

James BrownSenior Analyst IDecember 9, 2011

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 24:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic attacks the basket against Jason Collins #34 of the Atlanta Hawks during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 24, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  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 Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Just hours after the Chris Paul trade debacle, another NBA superstar could be on the move. Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic has reportedly selected the New Jersey Nets as his preferred destination.

Howard can become a free agent after this season, so it makes sense that the Magic will try to trade him this season.

This trade, like the Paul trade, is surrounded in controversy as recent reports indicate that Howard met with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and general manager Billy King in Miami. Howard has since denied the report, but tampering charges could be in order.

The trade has not been finalized, but if it is completed, would the Nets be a favorite to win the east?

Currently the Nets are a 20-1 long shot to win the Eastern Conference.

There are several teams that have better odds to win the East, including the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics. Even Howard’s current team, the Orlando Magic, is favored to win the East before the Nets, but that would all change with the trade.

The Nets would not become better than many of the teams mentioned above, but they would become much tougher to beat. Dwight Howard would join Deron Williams and give the Nets a formidable duo to build around.

The move to Brooklyn will energize the fanbase and Howard provides that face for the franchise to market.

The Nets are going to be heavy players in the free-agent market, and adding Howard may not be the only move for this team.

This deal is far from complete and the tampering charges could stop the deal from happening altogether. NBA Commissioner David Stern is also a potential hurdle in the deal, but if the Nets pull it off, things could finally get interesting for the New Jersey Nets on the court.

James Brown is a B/R Featured Columnist and can be followed on Twitter here. Feel free to contact James at jtsneaks@gmail.com.