The Nets might have to wait for Dwight Howard (UPDATED)
There hasn’t been a lot of suspense as to the biggest name on the market in the NBA come tomorrow’s deadline. The only questions are, “Will Dwight Howard go” and “If so, where?”
Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Magic center has no plans to stay in Orlando after he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.
“Dwight’s gone, and [Magic CEO] Alex Martins is the only person who doesn’t believe that,” an anonymous league source told Yahoo! NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski.
The feeling among the general manager Otis Smith and head coach Stan Van Gundy is reportedly that Howard will leave and they would prefer to get something in return for their star player.
Howard has long been reported to prefer going to the Nets to play with fellow All-Star Deron Williams, who is also a free agent at the end of the season.
But were the Nets to trade for Howard midseason they would have to give up center Brook Lopez, a young player like MarShon Brooks and likely a draft pick. Yahoo! is reporting that Howard would rather play out the season in Orlando and then sign with the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets this offseason.
Williams, by all reports, would be glad to re-sign as long as Howard comes aboard.
For all the trade talks that have been dominating the news all season, Howard has still had an excellent season.
He is averaging 21.1 points and 15 rebounds per game, the second-highest and highest totals of his career, respectively. The Magic were 27-15 heading into last night’s action.
UPDATE: Howard said Tuesday night that he would prefer to “roll the dice” with one last run with Orlando. The Magic have not officially made a decision either way.
Follow New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.