Can Dwight Howard Hurry Up And Get Traded Already?
Yo. What the hell, Dwight Howard?
Late on Sunday night, we seemed so close to a Nets/Magic/Cavaliers mega-deal that would finally get you to Brooklyn, finally allow Orlando to move on while saving some semblance of face, and finally allow us to stop boring people with sign-and-trade ball-tickling details and salary cap massage scenarios. Well, it's Tuesday afternoon, we haven't yet gotten our mega-deal, and there's once again a hiccup in a sports story that is oh-so-close to being compelling, but is right now stuck in neutral.
Here's the proposed trade, as currently being tossed back and forth between GMs in Brooklyn, Orlando, Cleveland, and God-Knows-Where-Else.
The Nets would receive Howard, Jason Richardson, Chris Duhon and Earl Clark. The Magic would get Brook Lopez, Luke Walton, Damion James, Shelden Williams, Armon Johnson and three first-round picks -- two from the Nets and a lottery-protected first from the Clippers. The Cavs would get Kris Humphries, Quentin Richardson, Sundiata Gaines, a first-round pick from the Nets and $3 million in cash. The Clippers would receive MarShon Brooks.
The hiccups? Well, there are several. For starters, Lopez, Humphries, James, Williams, Johnson and Gaines would all have to agree to sign-and-trades. Humphries, who's represented by Dan Fegan (the same guy who represents Howard) wants a multi-year deal. Fegan, who seems to be channeling the sports storyline-deprived public, is trying to convince him to take a one-year deal just to move shit along.
Additionally, according to Ric Bucher, the Magic front office have re-opened talks with other teams for Howard. One of those teams is Atlanta (although theirs is "not the best offer," and this may be the Magic's effort to get the other projected principals back on track and, you know, move shit along).
Moving shit along, however, may not be in the best interest of the rest of the NBA. According to Bucher, there is a growing hesitancy among some teams to be that third or fourth cog in a Dwight Howard/Brooklyn deal. The concern is one of competitive balance: why provide the Nets, who already have Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, with the launching pad to create another super team?
The answer, of course, is: you do it if it's in your best interest. An NBA team isn't going to be that third or fourth cog simply out of kindness. They're doing it to get expiring contracts, draft picks, cap room, or some combination of those three things.
Either way, July 12th seems to be an important date for the Nets. At that point, they'll either have Howard, or have to start focusing on re-signing the players they do have. Until then, it's just ball-tickling and salary cap massage.
UPDATE: The Cavs are reportedly out, and will be no one's cog.
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