NBA Trade Rumors: Dwight Howard to the New Jersey Nets Hinges on Extension

Kelly Scaletta@@KellyScalettaFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2011

BOSTON - MAY 12:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic drives to the net as Kendrick Perkins #43 of the Boston Celtics defends in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden May 12, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Magic 92-88.  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 Elsa/Getty Images)
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An actual real life rumor has been spotted!

The New Jersey Nets have been reported to offer Brook Lopez, two first round picks and the absorption of Hedo Turkoglu's bloated contract in exchange for Dwight Howard. 

The Nets offer should be enticing to the Magic who would also be in position to alleviate themselves of the hefty Gilbert Arenas contract. 

The article compares the Nets deal to a potential Lakers deal. 

The Los Angeles Lakers are also expected to eventually lodge their own trade bid for Howard -- featuring some combination of Pau GasolAndrew Bynum and Lamar Odom -- but the Nets appear poised to furnish Orlando with a young replacement for Howard in Lopez, two higher draft picks than the Lakers could presumably offer and the ability to shed Turkoglu's expensive deal, which will enable Orlando to take another big rebuilding step.

Clearly to the Magic, the Nets offer would be far more enticing than the best the Lakers could offer, which would be a combination of players that are either too old or too brittle to depend upon for the future of the franchise. Lopez has a lot of potential, and first round draft picks are nice to stock up on. 

Where there could be a deal-breaker, though, is whether Howard would accept the deal, and that might depend on the way the rest of the franchise shapes up. The Nets could re-sign Kris Humphries to go over the cap, and play Hedo Turkoglu at small forward.  

Signing Humphries would be a great move for the Nets if they see Howard is a possibility. Humphries has always been a player willing to do the dirty work. Howard has lamented not having that guy in the past with him in Orlando. 

That would give them a starting lineup of Williams, Anthony Morrow, Turkoglu, Humphries and Howard. That would certainly be enough to make Howard consider extending and that extension would probably be something the Nets would be looking for in order to do the deal. 

While most of the reports have Howard preferring to go to the New York Knicks or the Lakers (coincidentally where the major media outlets are) the move to Brooklyn would actually put Howard in New York. 

Between a promise of a championship-caliber lineup, a frontcourt mate who is more than willing to share the dirty work and a potential move to Brooklyn with all the celebrity that would bring Howard, I can see him being persuaded to stay. 

If fact, Nets' owner Mikhail Prokhorov pulled of the Williams deal with no such assurances and he might be willing to do it again. He may be willing to put the championship team together, point to the new stadium and ask, "do you really want to leave?," which might be a far easier task than trying to convince Howard that he really wants to come. 

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