Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Intrigue mounts on Nets' pursuit of superstar Orlando center Dwight Howard

As the NBA trading deadline approaches, it seems increasingly clear that superstar Orlando Magic Dwight Howard has no intention of staying. The Nets have the upper hand, but not a lock.

The New York Post's Fred Kerber thinks Howard will remain in Orlando past the trading deadline, then join the Brooklyn Nets as a free agent.

The Star-Ledger's Dave D'Alessandro observes, "Nothing has changed since [agent] Dan Fegan decided he really needs a client in Brooklyn, or since Adidas decided it needs a poster boy in the New York market." 

(And, of course, if the Nets don't get Howard, they're in danger of losing their one star, guard Deron Williams.)

But if Howard waits to leave Orlando as a free agent, he could only sign a contract of $81 million as of July 1, whereas he could earn $109 million if he gets trade to the Nets and then resigns as a a free agent.

If the Nets trade, D'Alessandro notes, they'd have to give up several assets they'd like to keep, notably center Brook Lopez and promising rookie MarShon Brooks. And, he suggests, a couple of other teams--the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls--may push for a trade.

And the Daily News's Mitch Lawrence thinks that the Knicks should trade out-of-sorts star forward Carmelo Anthony and center Tyson Chandler for Howard and a teammate.

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