Multiple reports indicate that it’s a possibility, with the Nets, as ESPN’s Chris Broussard first reported, in talks with Orlando about a deal for the Magic star that would involve three players and three first-round picks.
However, such a deal would be complex and is not imminent because, CBS Sports.com’s Ken Berger reports that Orlando General Manager Rob Hennigan also is trying to loop the Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and perhaps the Dallas Mavericks into talks for Howard.
In addition, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnaroski reports that there “isn’t great enthusiasm within the Magic that the Nets have the ability to make the most appealing offer” for Howard.
The Nets have already made one big move this week and it’s only Tuesday. They agreed to a deal with the Hawks on Monday that will send Johnson to Brooklyn for DeShawn Stevenson, the expiring contracts of Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow and Jordan Williams and the 2013 first-round pick they acquired from Houston (but only if it is not a lottery pick).
Brooklyn is still waiting for Deron Williams to say whether he will re-sign as a free agent. He reportedly likes the acquisition of Johnson and bringing Howard on board would clinch his return to the team, ESPN reports. He’s expected to decide in 24-to-48 hours.
Howard, who is recovering from back surgery that ended drama-filled his season in March, can become a free agent after next season, a complication mitigated by the fact that one destination is a clear favorite. “There’s only one team on my list and, if I don’t get traded there, I’ll play the season out and explore my free agency after that,” he told Wojnaroski on Monday.
Odds are it’s the Nets, since he requested a trade to the team last December and, according to ESPN, again Friday in a conversation with Henigan.
Report: Howard requests trade to Nets