Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Latest Updates on Nets, Lakers and More

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 28, 2012

The Orlando Magic have a decision to make regarding Dwight Howard that will ultimately shape the direction of the franchise. 

This tracker will keep you up to date on all the latest news and rumors involving Howard as we await word on where he will be playing next season.

Update: Friday, August 10 -- Maxwell Ogden

Showtime has returned to Los Angeles, ladies and gentlemen, as Dwight Howard has officially become a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. As for how the deal got done, the word impact doesn't really do this trade justice.

Four teams were involved in this deal, with the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers joining the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic to get the swap done. Amongst the players traded were All-Stars Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bynum.

According to Ken Berger of CBS.com, this is how it all went down.

-- Orlando sends Howard, Earl Clark and Chris Duhon to the Lakers and Jason Richardson to the 76ers.

-- L.A. sends Andrew Bynum to Philly, and Christian Eyenga, Josh McRoberts, a conditional 2017 first-round pick and a conditional 2015 second-round pick to Orlando.

-- Denver sends Al Harrington and Arron Afflalo to Orlando with a 2013 second-round pick and a 2014 first-round pick from the Nuggets or Knicks.

-- Philadelphia sends Andre Iguodala to Denver and Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless and a conditional first-round pick to Orlando. The Philly pick is lottery-protected in 2013 and '14, top-11 protected in '15 and top-8 protected in '16. If the Magic don't get the pick by '16, they get two second-round picks from the Sixers.

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While the winners and losers of this trade are of a subjective matter, there's no denying how big every move was. Los Angeles receives Dwight Howard, Philadelphia gets Andrew Bynum, Denver acquires Andre Iguodala and Orlando receives positional upgrades, a slew of draft picks and significant cap space.

Upwards of $20 million should the expected buyout of Al Harrington goes through.

-- Report via B/R's NBA Trade Rumors tracker

BREAKING NEWS: Thursday, August 9 -- Joel C. Cordes

Dwight Howard is finally a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and the rest of the NBA is no longer hostage to his story. The blockbuster four-team trade involving the Lakers, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic will go through.

Merely rumors as of early Thursday afternoon, the trade was allegedly agreed to in principal during the wee hours of the evening, with a league-office finalization call being planned for Friday morning.

Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN and ESPNLA, respectively, broke the stories Thursday night, providing new details from the earlier speculations that included Pau Gasol.

Gasol appears to actually be safe now, with only Bynum and a first round draft pick leaving L.A. in return for Dwight Howard. Andre Iguodala will indeed leave Philadelphia for Denver, who will ship Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington and at least one first rounder to Orlando.

The Magic will also reportedly receive Nikola Vucevic, at least one first round pick and (potentially) Moe Harkless from the Sixers. 

Philly is potentially the real winner, landing not only Andrew Bynum, but also Jason Richardson in the process for nothing more than Iggy and some spare assets.

Neither Bynum nor Howard are likely to sign in-season extensions, and Marc Stein especially reinforced this for D12.

ESPN source says Dwight definitely NOT doing extension with Lakers. Will test drive Lakerland for season and go to free agency in July 2013

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 10, 2012

If L.A. does not work out for Dwight, says source briefed on his thinking, he knows "Dallas will be there for him." Mavs will have cap space

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 10, 2012

Yet, both will have massive financial and personal incentive to re-sign with their new teams next offseason. Howard will finally be playing on the big stage for a championship contender, while Bynum will have a franchise all to himself, playing within an hour of his New Jersey home.

- Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's L.A. Lakers Offseason tracker.

Update 2: Thursday, August 9 -- Joel C. Cordes

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski follows up on his previous report that the L.A. Lakers, Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers are in discussions of a massive four-way trade involving Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum.

The names and destinations are still fluid at this point, but the teams are seriously discussing permutations of Howard and Denver forward Al Harrington landing in L.A., Bynum going to the Sixers, Philly swingman Andre Iguodala heading to Denver, and Pau Gasol, plus Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo, winding up in Orlando.

Any deal would surely have to include additional picks and assets heading to the Magic, but this is as significant a haul as they've been offered so far. Affalo has quietly turned into one of the league's half dozen best shooting guards, while Gasol's resume' speaks for itself.

As Woj notes, Bynum and Gasol's destinations could be swapped, though both the compensation and cost for Orlando and Philly would likely change as well.

Stay tuned...

- Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Offseason Trade Rumors tracker.

Update: Thursday, August 9 -- Joel C. Cordes

It's been awhile since we've had a good Dwight Howard rumor to freak out about, but this one is certainly both new and a doozy.

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic have found some fresh victims (err... facilitators) for their continued Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum trade machinations:

Orlando and the L.A. Lakers are engaged in 4-way talks with Denver and Philadelphia on a Dwight Howard blockbuster, league sources tell Y!

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 9, 2012

Including the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers actually makes a ton of sense. Just check out the rosters for the Nuggets and the Sixers; each has plenty of names that could be attractive to a rebuilding Orlando franchise.

However, a deal of this magnitude brings up more questions than answers. Could Bynum be going to Denver or Philly instead of Orlando? What do those other two teams get out of such a deal? Which young stars could be included in these discussions? 

We've heard plenty of head-scratching rumors ever since this saga began, but this one comes from a reputable source and is fresh enough to create some pause. At least we all now have something to think about for the day...

- Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Offseason Trade Rumors tracker.

Update: Tuesday, July 31 -- Maxwell Ogden

The Orlando Magic have seemingly been in talks with every NBA team possible for a potential trade of Dwight Howard. The latest chapter in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, however, has the Magic in talks with the 2011 NBA Champions.

Mike Fisher of Fox Sports Southwest has the report.

Mavs GM Donnie Nelson and Magic GM Orlando GM Rob Hennigan visited last week about a Dwight Howard trade and "will probably talk again,'' Nelson tells FOXSportsSouthwest.com. Meanwhile, Dwight and the Magic seem done visiting.

This deal seems unlikely, as Dallas lacks the youth that Orlando is likely to ask for. They are, however, on pace to be a major player in the 2013 period of free agency and could steal D-12 away from Orlando.

More details on this story as they emerge.

Update: Sunday, July 28 -- Maxwell Ogden

Are we ever going to get a clear answer?

Just when it appeared as if Dwight Howard could remain a member of the Orlando Magic, Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio has put out a conflicting report. Per his league sources, Howard could be moved sooner than we may have believed.

With Dwight Howard reiterating his wish to be traded, multiple league sources predict  the Orlando Magic will again step up efforts to find their All-Star center a new team. Several of those sources told FOX Sports Ohio on Saturday they believe Howard could be traded by the end of next week.

While any report regarding Dwight Howard's future deserves to be inspected for validity, it's hard to rule this out as a possibility. Orlando is beyond a long shot to retain D-12 after the 2013 season and must get all they can in return before it's too late.

More details will be reported as they emerge.

Update: Saturday, July 28 -- Maxwell Ogden

Despite coming up short in his attempt to earn Dwight Howard's commitment to the franchise, Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan appears to believe the relationship can be repaired. If not, he at least believes that Howard could be in Orlando once training camp rolls around.

Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel has the story.

"As I've said all along, we're going to just continue to stay true to our process and let the process sort of dictate the opportunities and the scenarios that present themselves," Hennigan told the Orlando Sentinel in a telephone interview Saturday.

More details will be reported on the potential for Dwight Howard to remain in Orlando as they emerge.

-- Report via B/R's Orlando Magic Tracker

Update: Wednesday, July 25 -- Maxwell Ogden

Dwight Howard is a thorn in the Orlando Magic's side.

On one hand, Howard is the one man holding their franchise back from building for the future. On the other end, D-12 could lift the Magic to a second NBA Finals appearance in a half-decade.

No matter how you cut it, the future of this franchise goes as Dwight Howard pleases.

In an attempt to repair their relationship with the superstar center, the Orlando Magic brass met with Howard in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the talks did not go as the Magic had hoped.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has the news. 

Source w/ direct knowledge of Howard-Orlando meeting: "Dwight remained unchanged in his desire to be traded and has no intention of (Cont)"

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 26, 2012


Source continued..."Signing another contract or extension in Orlando." Magic GM Rob Hennigan told Howard he's trying to trade him but ...

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 26, 2012

...but finding no acceptable deal. Magic waiting so long after draft and start of free agency to get serious on Howard deals has hurt offers

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 26, 2012

Expect trade talks to become even hotter than they previously were. Months of further turmoil could be on the way.

-- Report via B/R's Orlando Magic Tracker

Update: Wednesday, July 25 -- Maxwell Ogden

The Dwight Howard saga has made the Orlando Magic's superstar as polarizing as any figure in the NBA. If fans are naive enough to believe that his off the court antics have hurt his stock as a player in any way, however, they have another thing coming to them.

As for what is to come of the D-12 trade sweepstakes, it could be an emphatic nothing. If that is in fact the case, Howard will enter free agency.

Per a report via Adrian Wonarowski of Yahoo! Sports, it's the Dallas Mavericks who would emerge as the most likely suitors.

If Howard gets to free agency in '13 without having been traded to Nets or Lakers, Dallas is overwhelming favorite to sign him, sources say.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 26, 2012

While the Mavericks have every right to be skeptical, as the same had been said about Deron Williams, this certainly makes sense. Howard would play alongside Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas and have the best chance to win with that franchise than any other realistic suitor.

More details will be reported as they emerge.

-- Report via B/R's Dallas Mavericks Tracker

Update: Tuesday, July 24 -- Joel C. Cordes

So this is what it feels like to start over at square one?

Following up on some recent speculative reports, HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy has some concrete news on the Orlando Magic's plans.

According to Kennedy, the Magic have shifted their strategy back to where this all began. Unable to find trade deals that they like, they've been focusing on hiring a head coach for nearly the past two weeks.

Once they have that coach in place, (likely Jacque Vaughn), they will have an organizational sit-down with Howard to pitch him on staying in Orlando. Howard has agreed to such a meeting; a huge step back from his recent stand-offish demands.

It would certainly be awkward for Dwight to suit up in a Magic uniform again after what he's put the franchise and the city through. However, it's also good to see both sides talking again, even if it feels like we've wasted nearly two months chasing every trade rumor under the sun.

What a Dwightmare...

Update: Monday, July 23 -- Maxwell Ogden

The Orlando Magic have been involved in a back-and-forth battle with the decision to keep or trade Dwight Howard for roughly a year. While it seems as if all signs have pointed to a potential trade, it appears as if the franchise will hold onto their embattled superstar.

Chris Broussard of ESPN.com has the report.

An executive who has had discussions with the Magic regarding Howard said Orlando only will trade the star center in a deal that is great for the franchise. The executive said this has been Orlando's stance for the past "week or so."

Another executive who has talked with Orlando said he thinks the Magic may start the season with Howard and wait until the February trade deadline to move him.

This decision has been building up to for quite some time, with the Magic refusing deals from a handful of potential suitors. The question at this point, of course, is whether the team will indeed trade Howard come February or hold onto him and try their luck in free agency.

More on this story as details are released.

Update: Saturday, July 21 -- Maxwell Ogden

B/R's earlier report answered why Dwight Howard hadn't been traded. This upcoming news will answer when the plug could be pulled on the D-12 trade talks.

Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated has the report.

The Magic, I'm told, are hopeful that they can pull the trigger on a deal by early August (although I certainly couldn't tell you which one it might be). That being said, new GM Rob Hennigan...is proving to be very prudent in this process, meaning those hopes won't be realized if the deal simply isn't up to his standard's.

This is a fair approach by Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan. The team simply cannot pull the trigger when there remains an outside chance of Howard returning to Orlando, regardless of what he may have said before.

Either way, the D-12 trade talks could conclude by early August. Expect a frantic few weeks heading up to that time.

Update: Saturday, July 21 -- Maxwell Ogden

There's a question that each and every NBA fan and analyst has been asking since the beginning of free agency: Why hasn't Dwight Howard been traded yet?

According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, there is an answer. In what should not be considered an attempt to assassinate Rob Hennigan's character, it appears as if the Magic's GM is a major reason nothing has gotten done.

According to sources, the Magic have frustrated potential trading partners by continuously changing terms at the last minute. This supposedly dates back to their dealings with the Nets a few weeks back, when Nets GM Billy King felt an agreement that would send Howard to Brooklyn had been finalized, sources said.

While we are all inclined to believe that the Magic will one day agree to a trade, the fact that the Magic are the franchise holding things up should be concerning. More details will be reported as they emerge.

Update: Thursday, July 19 -- Maxwell Ogden

Well, so much for that.

Just when it appeared as if Dwight Howard would be open to signing an extension, his agent crushes those dreams with two simple sentences. Ric Bucher of ESPN.com has the story.

Agent: Wherever Dwight Howard lands, he'll be an UFA next summer. Doesn't mean he won't re-sign, just no promises. espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id…

— Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) July 20, 2012

Things aren't looking good for a potential Dwight Howard to Los Angeles deal. While the Lakers may believe in their brand, no one can be foolish enough to believe in trading a franchise player away for another who may not re-sign.

Can they?

Update: Thursday, July 19 -- Maxwell Ogden

Could the Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum trade talks all be a hoax? If you ask Andrew Bynum's agent, the answer might be yes.

Per a report via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times, Andrew Bynum's agent David Lee has not been contacted about a potential trade.

Andrew Bynum's agent says no teams have contacted him about trades @bbolchhas more detailslat.ms/NXfEm9

— Mark Medina (@MarkGMedina) July 20, 2012

While this certainly does not suggest a nail in the coffin, one has to question whether or not the talks are legitimate or media driven. At this point, it appears to be the latter.

-- Report via B/R's Los Angeles Lakers Tracker

Update: Thursday, July 19 -- Maxwell Ogden

The Cleveland Cavaliers have taken yet another precautionary measure in their potential inclusion in the Dwight Howard trade talks. This time around, they're demanding what could only be expected of them: a guaranteed extension of Andrew Bynum's contract.

This comes per a report via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

"Cleveland will only do the deal if Bynum extends," a league official directly involved in the talks told Yahoo! Sports.

This should come as no surprise, as Cleveland would be foolish to include themselves in any mega deal without a guarantee of their reaping the benefits. Despite what we already assumed, it has now been reported that the deal will hinge on Bynum's extension.

-- Report via B/R's Cleveland Cavaliers Tracker

Update: Thursday, July 19 -- Maxwell Ogden

Per a report via Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, it appears as if an Andrew Bynum to Cleveland deal has not been run by Bynum's agent David Lee. Here's what Lee had to say.

"When I read it online I was in Alaska with Andrew and his family ... I was taken aback by the list considering there is nobody in anybody’s camp he could’ve been talking to. I have no idea where that came about."

This could complicate the Cleveland Cavaliers' role in the Dwight Howard to Los Angeles trade talks. The Cavaliers may not want to give up anything substantial without Andrew Bynum agreeing to re-sign with the team after the 2013 season.

-- Report via B/R's Trade Tracker

Update: Thursday, July 19 — Ethan Norof

Finally, some movement on the Dwight Howard trade front.

Jarrod Rudolph of Real GM was first to break the news that Howard is now willing to sign a long-term extension with the Los Angeles Lakers if he is traded to the team.

Sources: Dwight Howard is ready to join Lakers. If traded to Los Angeles Howard will re-sign long-term with team after 2012-13 season.

— Jarrod N Rudolph (@JRudolphSports) July 19, 2012

ESPN's Chris Broussard has confirmed the news as well.

Sources confirm @JRudolphSports report that Dwight Howard is ready to join Lakers. If traded to LA DH will re-sign long-term with team

— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 19, 2012

It appears as if the Lakers are in the driver's seat in the race to land Howard.

Update 2: Wednesday, July 18 — Joel Cordes

Formerly repudiated as nothing more than a pipe dream, ESPN's Ric Bucher is reporting that the Cleveland Cavaliers have been mentioned yet again as a facilitator for the Dwight Howard trade.

In the proposed scenario, Howard obviously goes to the Los Angeles Lakers, Andrew Bynum would still end up with the Cavaliers, and Anderson Varejao and plenty of draft picks would head to Orlando.

Bucher has stressed that these are merely framework talks at this point and nothing is imminent. Still, this is strong confirmation that last week's "Bynum to Cavs" rumors weren't actually the hot air they appeared to be.

- Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's NBA Offseason Trade Rumors tracker.

Update: Wednesday, July 18 — Ethan Norof

The Howard-to-Lakers rumors just won't die.

After a Yahoo! Sports report stated Los Angeles was "pushing hard" to land Howard, ESPN Los Angeles confirmed that the two sides were talking, though no deal is imminent.

The Lakers remain committed to pursuing Howard even without assurances he'd sign a long-term extension with the club. What's unclear to both sides is whether Orlando would accept Andrew Bynum without assurances he'd sign a long-term extension.

If the team can't execute a trade for Howard, the Lakers are expected to turn attention to signing Bynum to a long-term extension.

-Content for this report was provided by Bleacher Report's L.A. Lakers offseason tracker.

Update: Tuesday, July 17 — Joel C. Cordes

The Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic remain in serious talks about swapping Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports the only hurdle left is getting that pesky contract-extension assurance from Dwight Howard:

Lakers pushing hard to land Magic center Dwight Howard & meeting with Magic today,sources tell Y! LAL wants DH contract extension commitment

— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 17, 2012

At this point, it would be simply ridiculous if Howard doesn't see the Lakers as his best destination. With the Brooklyn Nets out of the picture for good (they can't sign-and-trade for him next year due to changing rules in 2013), Howard is left with the Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks as potential destinations.

He'd have to play one more season for the Magic in order to sign with the Mavericks, and Orlando has yet to latch onto any real pitches from the Rockets or Hawks. Expect this to gain steam throughout the day.

Update: Monday, July 16 — Ethan Norof

The Dwight Howard situation isn't exactly being resolved at light speed.

After talk of a three-team trade sending Howard to the Lakers was deemed to be a bit premature, it turns out that the deal was dead before talks really got off the ground.

Nothing to these trade rumors involving #Cavs, Lakers and Magic, league source confirms. No merit to them at all.

— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) July 15, 2012

That's a fairly definitive update, and it's not surprising whatsoever to learn that the three-team deal never had any traction. After all, could anyone really imagine Dan Gilbert signing off on a deal that facilitates Howard landing in Los Angeles?

Update: Saturday, July 14 — Maxwell Ogden

In the words of the great Lee Corso, not so fast my friend!

Just when we thought the Dwight Howard trade talks had cooled down, Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.com has presented us with a new trade that is reportedly in the works.

Three-team deal may send Dwight Howard to Lakers, Andrew Bynum to Cavs and picks/prospects/cap relief to Magic. Still trying to get details.

— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 14, 2012

As we expected, Brooklyn's absence from the D-12 sweepstakes has brought Los Angeles back into the mix. It's also made them a likely suitor who has an infusion of youth to offer via the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Update: Saturday, July 14 — Joel C. Cordes

Though it's somewhat speculative, Click Orlando's David Pingalore cites sources who firmly believe the Los Angeles Lakers remain the front-runners for Dwight Howard.

Especially now that the Brooklyn Nets are out of the picture, the Lakers seem to best match Howard's big-market machinations much more than the dogged determination of the Houston Rockets.

Houston has been willing to sell the farm for Howard, but he'd then be arriving to an empty plot of ground accompanied only by the misfit parts he wanted to leave in Orlando.

On the other hand, the Lakers can simply swap Andrew Bynum (and possibly Metta World Peace) for Howard. This would give Dwight the chance to play for a clear championship contender on the league's biggest stage.

It's not surprising that stories like this about the Lakers would continue to surface. What's shocking is that Howard hasn't publicly warmed to this seemingly inevitable idea yet.

Update: Friday, July 13 — Joel C. Cordes

Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey continues to play every card in his hand. When that hasn't been enough to get Dwight Howard, he's just gone out and gotten more cards.

ESPN.com is reporting that the Rockets have once again approached the Orlando Magic with a trade offer. Having traded away Kyle Lowry, amnestied Luis Scola and (hopefully) watched Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin's offers matched by the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks, respectively, the Rockets now have a ton of rookies and cap space.

While that might seem like the perfect stage for a full Rocket rebuild, Morey is offering all of those facets in exchange for Howard.

This proposed trade would send most of Houston's rookies and cap space to Orlando for Dwight and at least two or three of the bad contracts from Glen Davis, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Chris Duhon.

Even though Howard could still leave in 2013, the Rockets are at the point of no return either way. They've begun a full restructuring project, and they'd rather have Dwight aboard than to start from scratch.

However, does Dwight want a team built around him again or to play for an already-established roster?

- Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Offseason Trade Rumors tracker.

Update 4: Wednesday, July 11 — Maxwell Ogden

Just when it appeared as if the trade talks were dead, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reports that Rob Hennigan himself has stated they are alive.

Magic GM Hennigan on reports that Howard trade talks have been suspended: "That's not accurate."

— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 11, 2012

The pursuit of a head coach is on. So remains the pursuit of a trade for Dwight Howard.

Update 3: Wednesday, July 11 — Maxwell Ogden

The Orlando Magic took the Brooklyn Nets' poor attempt at a threat and raised them by one: "Better luck next time." According to general manager Rob Hennigan, no deal offered was good enough to warrant true consideration.

Sources: Magic GM Rob Hennigan told Howard the team tired to make a deal but none of the offers met the team's satisfaction.

— Jarrod N Rudolph (@JRudolphSports) July 11, 2012

The Magic have reportedly suspended trade talks and are now doing what they should have done from the start: placing the franchise over the player and searching for a head coach.

Sources: Orlando Magic have informed Dwight Howard that they are suspending trade talks in favor of finding next head coach.

— Jarrod N Rudolph (@JRudolphSports) July 11, 2012

It appears as if we'll be talking about a Dwight Howard trade for even longer than we had expected.

Update 2: Wednesday, July 11 — Joel C. Cordes

Multiple sources are reporting that the Brooklyn Nets have sent a final ultimatum to the Orlando Magic. To paraphrase, "either trade Dwight Howard to us today, or we're walking."

Source: Nets will "resolve" their pursuit of DH today; either get him or move on.

— Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) July 11, 2012

ESPN is reporting that Nets GM Billy King is meeting with Brook Lopez, their restricted free-agent center, today. They'll either sign him to stay or be dealt to Orlando, but he's getting a contract either way.

Following up on @RicBucher report: Nets have told Magic if there's a Dwight Howard deal, must be done by end of business day

— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) July 11, 2012

The Nets do not want Lopez to receive any outside offers, as that would finally foil their Howard plan. If they let Lopez walk, they don't have the assets to acquire Dwight. If they match a max deal for Lopez, then the parameters and timing of the contract may not be palatable to Orlando.

Why hadn't an outside team thought of and implemented this sabotage yet? Presumably because they didn't want to actually get stuck with Lopez on a max deal.

Either way, the Dwight Howard and Brooklyn Nets situation is (finally) moving to a head. If this falls through, then the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks will remain in the conversation.

- Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Offseason Trade Rumors tracker. 

Update: Wednesday, July 11 — Joel C. Cordes

Either they're backing the Orlando Magic into a corner, or they're simply ready to walk away. Either way, the Nets are closing in on a max contract with restricted free agent Brook Lopez:

Y! Sources: As time's running out on a Howard deal for Brooklyn, Brook Lopez nears agreement on max contract with Nets. tinyurl.com/86tgnwf

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 11, 2012

The Nets have maintained that the 11th was their date for moving on, as they don't want to let other free-agent opportunities pass them by while waiting for the Orlando Magic.

More importantly, unless this Lopez contract is an immediate precursor to a sign-and-trade, it will take Brooklyn out of the Dwight Howard running for good:

If Brook Lopez signs the reported maximum contract offer with the Brooklyn Nets he can NOT be traded until December for Dwight Howard. #NBA

— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 11, 2012

Even if Dwight were to wait until free agency next summer, he would have difficulty signing with the capped-out Nets. They would have to move Brook Lopez and/or other contracts in order to bring him aboard.

Time is running out. It appears the Magic have 24 hours or less to deal with Brooklyn or let the opportunity pass them by.

Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Brook Lopez offseason tracker.

Update 4: Tuesday, July 10 — Maxwell Ogden

While Los Angeles and Brooklyn have stepped up as the favorites to land Dwight Howard, an under the radar franchise has emerged as a confident possibility. Marc Stein of ESPN.com has the news.

Hawks, I'm told, still think they're alive in Dwight trade chase. With plenty of pieces to offer and Josh Smith to lobby Howard to stay

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 11, 2012

Could the Hawks be the team on the rise? While Dwight Howard has yet to express any interest, or lack thereof, the presence of good friend Josh Smith may be enough to swing his interest. But will the deal captivate Orlando?

Update 3: Tuesday, July 10 — Maxwell Ogden

Per a report via Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld.com, the Dwight Howard-to-Los Angeles talks have come back to life. The reason for this is the inclusion of a team that once pursued D-12 as hard as any: the Houston Rockets.

HOOPSWORLD has learned that there have been preliminary discussions between the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets that would involve sending Andrew Bynum to the Rockets, Howard to the Lakers and a number of first-round picks, prospects and significant cap relief to the Magic.

Nothing new about Howard's potential destination, but certainly a shock to see what Orlando and Houston could be receiving. More on this story as further developments come to light.

Update 2: Tuesday, July 10 — Joel C. Cordes

ESPN is reporting that the Orlando Magic are once again shopping Dwight Howard to outside bidders. This is surprising, considering how certain a trade with the Brooklyn Nets seemed even as late as Monday night.

This could be their last-ditch attempt to maintain leverage before they're forced to accept the Nets' complicated, three- or four-team offer (detailed on the next slide). Or, as ESPN's Ric Bucher reported above, it may also be the result of potential facilitators like the Charlotte Bobcats dragging their heals.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were supposed to be a part of the deal, but now it appears they are out:

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

With so many moving parts to this trade, plus the fact that nearly every Nets piece to the deal would need to sign in order to be dealt, complexity is gumming the gears. 

Update: Tuesday, July 10 — Joel C. Cordes

While the Brooklyn Nets appear to finally have the Orlando Magic's ear, Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey continues to push doggedly ahead:

The Rockets refuse to give up on the Dwight Howard derby, gathering more assets to try and entice the Orlando Magic to engage in talks

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 10, 2012

Call it a Quixotic pipe dream, but the Rockets have been nothing short of obsessed this offseason, stopping at nothing short of a full franchise tear-down in their pursuit of Howard. Whether that's enough to catch Dwight or the Magic's attention remains to be seen at this 11th hour. 

Update: Monday, July 9 — Joel C. Cordes

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports! reports that the Dwight Howard trade parameters have expanded to include yet another team:

Tentacles of Nets-Magic talks covering 14 players, 3 teams w/ possible 4th locking in to take MarShon Brooks to provide pick, sources tell Y

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2012

As if the Howard saga didn't already feel like a whirlpool, it appears that it's swirling around more and more players and franchises as we speak. This has the makings of an all-time NBA blockbuster deal. Stay tuned. 

Update: Monday, July 9 — Joel C. Cordes

Numerous sources are reporting that the Dwight Howard to Brooklyn Nets deal has found new legs thanks to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Sources: Magic, Nets and Cavaliers near completion of Dwight Howard trade. Deal will include 11 players, cash and multiple draft picks.

— Jarrod N Rudolph (@JRudolphSports) July 9, 2012

Orlando Magic brass are apparently meeting at 9 a.m. Monday to discuss their options. While this deal appeared to be floundering, Cleveland's sudden interest in acquiring Nets free-agent power forward Kris Humphries provides a new variable.

As reported by ESPN, the Cavaliers could also be receiving MarShon Brooks as part of the package, something the Orlando Magic were seemingly disinterested in up to this point.

It is still unknown which Cleveland players and/or picks would be heading to the Magic, but they would certainly have to contribute a reasonably large cache to the bevy of Brooklyn draft picks that are headed Orlando's way.

This story could be resolved by the end of the day, so stay tuned here for the latest updates. 

Note: Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Orlando Magic offseason tracker.

Update: Sunday, July 8 — Adam Fromal

Maybe the Ryan Anderson trade was a precursor to a Dwight Howard move after all.

According to RealGM's Jarrod N Rudolph, we could be getting close to a trade between the Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets after all: 

Just spoke with a source that tells me that Billy King is "very close" to getting Dwight Howard. And deal could be completed "very soon."

— Jarrod N Rudolph (@JRudolphSports) July 8, 2012

Not much information is given here, other than the obvious statement that the two teams are close to a deal. Without any information on the source, it's hard to tell just how seriously we should be taking this latest rumor. 

Could Billy King pull off this dream trade for Brooklyn after all?

Update: Sunday, July 8 — Joel C. Cordes

Ken Berger of CBS is reporting that the Brooklyn Nets still haven't given up on their pursuit of Dwight Howard:

Nets "making progress" on finding a third team to take Kris Humphries in a scenario that would send Dwight Howard to Brooklyn, source says.

— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 8, 2012

Despite the fact that they've begun talks to re-sign Brook Lopez, the Nets remain determined to exhaust all options to acquiring Howard. Retaining Lopez might just be the first step in this long-fabled mega trade to the Orlando Magic.

The Magic just made a curious move by selling off Ryan Anderson to the New Orleans Hornets. While Magic brass claim this is not precursor to a Dwight Howard deal (detailed below), this certainly isn't a move towards championship contention.

Orlando is clearly up to something right now, and it appears the Brooklyn Nets are too. It's pretty obvious what the connection is between these moving parts. 

Update: Sunday, July 8 — Joel C. Cordes

As part of his sign-and-trade from the Orlando Magic to the New Orleans Hornets, Ryan Anderson will be able to sign a deal similar to the one Ersan Ilyasova just got to remain with the Milwaukee Bucks:

Ryan Anderson gets four years, $34-36M from New Orleans, per source.

— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 8, 2012

This does not seem like a completely unreasonable number for the NBA's Most Improved Player of the Year, so it's extremely surprising that the Magic were willing to let Anderson walk at all.

Their trade for Ayon is being spun as an "at least we got something in return" sort of move, but one wonders why they didn't just keep Anderson in the first place. This cannot be seen as a team-advancing move by Dwight Howard, and surely does little to keep him in Orlando.

Update: Sunday, July 8 — Joel C. Cordes

The Orlando Magic are making a move, but it's yet unclear whether this is connected with a long-awaited Dwight Howard trade.

According to numerous reports, the Magic are working out a trade for their sweet-shooting Restricted Free Agent, Ryan Anderson:

Orlando RFA Ryan Anderson likely won't re-sign with Magic and will be moved in a sign-and-trade, league sources tell Y! Sports.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 8, 2012

It's unclear yet what all the moving parts are yet, but the trade partner appears to be the New Orleans Hornets:

RT @JoshuaBRobbins: #Magic are in talks w/ #Hornets on sign-and-trade involving Ryan Anderson, @orlandosentinel has learned.

— Michael Cunningham (@ajchawks) July 8, 2012

Whether this includes draft picks or not is also unclear, but Hornets center Gustavo Ayon is the only player mentioned so far from the New Orleans side:

League source says #Hornets acquiring SF Ryan Anderson from #Magic in sign and trade for Gustavo Ayon.

— Jimmy Smith (@JimmySmithtp) July 8, 2012

It seems odd that the Magic would be trading away the Most Improved Player of the Year for a backup center, prompting much speculation that Ayon could be seen as Dwight Howard's replacement and the beginning of a number of moves.

For now, that speculation is being downplayed:

Sign-and-trade talks between the Hornets and Magic for RFA Ryan Anderson are unrelated to a possible Dwight Howard trade, sources say.

— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 8, 2012

Stay tuned as more information becomes available.

Update: Sunday, July 8 — Joel C. Cordes

Brook Lopez and the Brooklyn Nets are finally moving to the bargaining table, reports Yahoo's Adrian Wajnorowski:

Brooklyn's started talks with RFA Brook Lopez on extension, sources tell Y! Could be to stay with Nets or used in sign-and-trade with Magic.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 8, 2012

As discussed below, the Nets appear to have set July 11 as their cut-off date for the Dwight Howard saga. There might not actually be any movement on the Howard front, but this could simply be the Nets' signal that time is marching on, with or without the Orlando Magic...

Note: Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Brook Lopez offseason tracker.

Update: Saturday, July 7 — Joel C. Cordes

The Orlando Magic have repeatedly balked at Brooklyn's overtures (in detail below), and the Nets are beginning to intimate that the clock is ticking. According to Yahoo's Marc Spears, Brooklyn is preparing to move on without Howard:

Nets have "30 percent chance" of landing Dwight in trade but likely would turn attention to FAs if it c


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