Dwight Howard always wanted to go to Brooklyn. The newness of the franchise and the chance to create a new legacy — in a big market — enticed Howard greatly. If only the other half of his mind had not convinced him to stay in Orlando for another half year and send himself into purgatory and eventually re-request his trade out of Central Florida.
By the time Howard had finally decided there was no going back to Orlando — he had already physically left The City Beautiful in March for back surgery — the Nets had moved on. Literally to Brooklyn but also past Howard. The Nets were done waiting.
And they are done waiting now, even if Dwight Howard wants to pull them back in.
Tuesday, Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM reported that Nets general manager Billy King has quietly been looking for a third team to help facilitate a deal that would bring Dwight Howard to his desired location, Brooklyn.
According to sources, King was planning to contact the Minnesota Timberwolves in order to gauge their interest in a three-team trade that would send Kevin Love to the Lakers, Brook Lopez to the Timberwolves and Dwight Howard to the Nets. Other small pieces would need to be included, but the proposed trade was thought to be intriguing enough to start conversations in the Lakers front office that would force them to deal with Howard earlier than planned.
That idea, however, was hurt when Love was sidelined 8-10 weeks with a broken hand. The Nets believed the Lakers would be interested in Love, but not an injured Love, even if they’re facing missing the playoffs, according to sources.
King will still look around for an attractive piece for the Lakers, but won’t make getting Howard as big a priority as last season, according to sources. But he will continue to watch the Lakers and explore intriguing trade options, sources said.
The report was vehemently refuted by a source to NetsDaily.com:
Nets source: Howard trade rumor "total BS" … "fabricated" by "Jarrod Whatever His Name Is" Strong words delivered minutes after report.
— NetsDaily.com (@NetsDaily) January 22, 2013
Whether or not such a deal was discussed seriously or if the Nets and King were simply doing their due diligence is completely unknown. It depends on which reporter you want to believe.
As Nets Daily notes, several Nets sources have said the Nets are happy with Brook Lopez, who is gaining All-Star consideration, and have no intentions of shaking things up. Particularly since the Nets have gotten out of their little mid-season funk and are making a run to take the Knicks off their Atlantic Division perch.
Remember though, Rudolph was in front of the Dwight Howard story in Orlando and was the one who broke the story that Howard would opt-in to the final year of his deal.
It is just as possible that both guys are right with the Nets denying their interest in a trade to keep team morale up and a discontented Howard having his people leak information out or begin investigating the structure of a deal to get him what he wants.
Who knows? I do not know what is really going on. Your theory is as good as mine.
This just feels all too familiar with the speculation and rumors surrounding Howard.
What we do know though is the Lakers are struggling. And that Dwight Howard has not looked like the same happy-go-lucky, dominant Howard in Los Angeles. The weight of the world is still on his shoulders it seems. And if he is not happy with his situation in Los Angeles, he can still elect to leave in free agency.
Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN Los Angeles report the Lakers still feel confident they can resign Howard, but his growing discontent with Mike D'Antoni and his role in the team's offense is making the Lakers nervous. It is not surprising to hear that Los Angeles is beginning to explore their trade options.
Howard is keeping quiet, predictably.
Unpredictably though, Howard re-aggravated his shoulder injury in Wednesday's loss to Memphis. He is going back to Los Angeles to have his shoulder examined again. He could miss more time. That could throw a wrench in any trade plans.
And so it all begins again. Wake me when it is over.