NBA Free Agency: No Dwight for Nets, re-sign Lopez


Dwight Howard and Brook Lopez
Brooklyn gave Orlando until Wednesday night to strike a deal. For now, Howard (left) and Lopez are staying put.

The Brooklyn Nets gave the Orlando Magic an ultimatum on Wednesday: deal or no deal. By early Wednesday night a deal between the two teams, and two other teams reportedly to be involved, had not been reached. Therefore, Dwight Howard is still in Orlando. And so, the saga continues.Over the past year or so, the Nets made every move possible to land Dwight Howard. The list of players involved in trade rumors is endless and the combinations were plentiful. In the end, they weren’t able to land Howard and secure a potent “super” team. But Brooklyn isn’t the loser here because they still ended up with Joe Johnson and were able to re-sign Brook Lopez, the main component in the once-promising Howard trade, albeit to a maximum contract worth $60 million over the next four years.

The loser is Orlando. Not only did they have to fire their head coach, Stan Van Gundy, and their general manager, Otis Smith, they now have to deal with more Dwight Drama. Honestly, I don’t know how this situation will end, but I have a feeling that it either will get really ugly or, perhaps, better. The Magic has new management and a different outlook than the old regime. It’s frightening still that they don’t have a new head coach, but they have a bigger rabbit to pull out of a hat right now.

Orlando is looking elsewhere to send their big man, but I don’t think a deal will be reached any time soon. It’s been known that the Los Angeles Lakers want Howard, but their trade-chip (Andrew Bynum) said he would not re-sign with Orlando, making that trade seem highly unlikely. The Houston Rockets are also interested in Howard. I don’t think Houston has the pieces that Orlando would want in return. Matter of fact, I know Houston doesn’t have the pieces that it would take to land Howard.

The Magic said they were extremely willing to get rid of Howard for the right price. In other words, they are looking for another star or two; or superstar in return for Howard. Teams don’t give away stars, especially after seeing what the Cleveland Cavaliers went through after losing LeBron James to free agency. Orlando doesn’t want to be the next team to let a player of Howard’s caliber walk away from the franchise.

I have a feeling the Nets will try, again, to land Howard when January 15th comes around. That’s the day that Lopez is available to be traded again.

Until then, the never-ending saga continues.

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