Yes, you’ve heard this one before.
Howard to the Nets is quickly becoming the NBA’s equivalent of Brett Favre’s offseason dog-and-pony show. Will the Orlando Magic cave to his demands? Does he really want to leave? How many teams need to be involved to get the deal done? And would the NBA veto it?
And after all the headaches Howard has given the Magic’s brass over the last year, they seem to be ready to send him on his way — but only if the price is right.
Free agent power forward Kris Humphries is now in the mix and could be dealt to the Cavaliers to facilitate a Howard trade, but Cleveland wants more. The Nets are also reportedly dangling MarShon Brooks, whom the Magic are not high on. The Magic see Nets center Brook Lopez as the key to a Howard trade, according to reports.
The talks appear to slowly be picking up steam, but Orlando is continuing to explore other options with the Lakers, Rockets and others. The Magic have expressed interest in Lakers center Andrew Bynum, but if he chose not to re-sign with Orlando when he becomes a free agent next summer, the team could be left empty-handed after dealing its top star.
But a bigger concern for both the Magic and Nets could be the rest of the league’s owners, who are beginning to sound the alarm over the blockbuster trades that have created star-studded teams in recent seasons, namely with the Heat, Clippers and — with last week’s Steve Nash trade — the Lakers.
As one GM told ESPN.com, “You have to realize part of long-term planning is making sure you don’t help create teams you can’t beat.”
The landscape in the Western Conference may have shifted considerably when the Lakers acquired Nash. What would Howard in Brooklyn — a team that went 22-44 last season, mind you — mean for the East?
NBA rumors: Howard, Terry, Lin, Bynum could be on the move