Several reports Monday morning have the Magic close to a deal that would send Dwight Howard to the Nets and involve a third, and possibly a fourth, team to take on salaries. Magic management was expected to meet this morning to discuss the latest offer on the table and, perhaps, come to a final decision on where to send Howard.
No one is sure what Orlando will do.
The latest reported deal would have the Magic acquiring Brook Lopez and an assortment of picks for Dwight Howard with Howard heading out to Brooklyn and the Cavaliers acquiring Kris Humphries. No one is quite sure if MarShon Brooks is involved, although it appears the Magic do not have much interest in him.
This deal continues to get more and more complicated as Nets general manager Billy King (and Howard’s agent Dan Fegan) are trying to convince teams to take on some of Orlando’s bad contracts and get involved. Brooklyn simply does not have the assets on its own to make a deal.
The biggest being Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries. Both are restricted free agents and would have to agree to sign-and-trade deals to wherever the Nets decide to send them. There are some indications that Lopez would prefer to stay in Brooklyn and does not have much interest in joining Orlando. Humphries is also looking for more than the reported one-year deal to send him to Cleveland.
At the very least, the framework from the Nets side appears to be in place and there is something on the table for the Magic to consider. What the Magic will do is just about anyone’s guess.
Orlando has shown a lot of patience in weighing the deals it has on the table, recognizing that now may not be the right time and a better deal could come along. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com even suggested the Magic may be open to waiting until December 15 when recently acquired players can be traded to re-open discussions. The only real deadline as the Magic see it appears to be the trade deadline in February.
And it feels like Orlando believes a better deal could come across before then.
However, Brooklyn does want to move on. The Nets reportedly are looking to move on if a deal cannot get done soon, hoping to re-engage after that December 15 date.
Getting this deal done comes squarely on the Magic and what they want for Dwight Howard.
The speculation is that Orlando is looking for cap relief by sending away some of its unsavory contracts — namely, Jason Richardson, Glen Davis, Chris Duhon and Hedo Turkgolu — while receiving draft picks and young players on cheap contracts in return. Dwight Howard has that much power to help Orlando jump start a rebuild is the thinking.
That appears not to be the case. Many of the teams Orlando has dealt with do not appear to have everything the franchise wants in return for Howard.
The Lakers, for instance, lack the draft picks and young players (and likely want to send back a bad contract of their own — Metta World Peace). The Rockets lack a strong centerpiece to send back. And the Nets lack the draft picks the Magic want.
There is no perfect deal out there, so the Magic are content to weigh their options… and maybe wait a little longer.