The Dwight Howard trade is about as close to completion as it ever has been, but it’s also beginning to look far more complicated than anyone could have imagined.
Here are the teams being connected to Howard, in one way or another, at the moment: Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Brooklyn Nets and Houston Rockets.
If the Magic were okay with simply getting back a good player a la Andrew Bynum, they could have put together a fairly simple transaction with the Los Angeles Lakers. The deal would have involved some bad contracts going from Orlando to L.A., and the teams’ two big men swapping uniforms. That would have been the simple route.
Instead, Orlando management decided to appease the guy who tortured them for the past year, and send him to his desired locale – Brooklyn. Because the Nets don’t have much to offer in return for Howard, a third team had to be brought into the mix. Then a fourth. And now, according to multiple reports, even more teams may be added to the equation in order to make this deal happen.
Here are the varying details coming in regarding what’s going on right now:
Sources: New teams emerging as possible facilitators in Nets-Magic trade talks. Teams are high on MarShon Brooks, but cautious on Humphries.— Jarrod N Rudolph (@JRudolphSports) July 10, 2012
who is looking for a long-terms deal. Trade foundation still "very much" in place, sources say. Teams likely to push for Tuesday completion.— Jarrod N Rudolph (@JRudolphSports) July 10, 2012
Minnesota and Charlotte said to be the teams willing to facilitate trade Nets-Magic trade if Cleveland or Clippers back out, sources said.— Jarrod N Rudolph (@JRudolphSports) July 10, 2012
Hearing some buzz Cavs out of potential trade involving Nets & Magic, replaced by Bobcats. Cats would take MarShon Brooks, eliminating Clips— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) July 10, 2012
As far as the Charlotte Bobcats go:
The Charlotte Bobcats could end up with power forward Kris Humphries, should the Brooklyn Nets use him in a sign-and-trade to help facilitate a deal for Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard.
- Via Rick Bonell of the Charlotte Observer
And then there’s Atlanta:
If the talks between the Nets and Magic hit a snag, the Hawks are in position to renew their pursuit of Howard.
The Hawks have engaged the Magic in trade talks involving Howard, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions. That person did not want to be identified because the teams involved have not discussed the negotiations publicly.
The Hawks could offer Orlando better players than the Nets. But Atlanta could run the risk of trading away valuable assets only to lose Howard in free agency when his contract expires after next season.
- Via Michael Cunningham, Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Plus, the Houston Rockets:
The Rockets refuse to give up on the Dwight Howard derby, gathering more assets to try and entice the Orlando Magic to engage in talks— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 10, 2012
So what’s ultimately going to happen? It’s impossible to say. When you’re dealing with as many moving parts as this, it’s almost inevitable that the house of cards will collapse before a deal gets done. Working out a trade between two teams is tough enough – trying to arrange a transaction between three or four squads is nuts.
The best thing we’ve read on this matter over the past 24 hours?
BREAKING: The NBA is forced to bring back the Sonics because there aren't enough teams to complete the Dwight Howard trade.— Russ Bengtson (@russbengtson) July 9, 2012
It’s funny because it’s probably true.