Once all 30 teams in the NBA were able to officially sign free agents and finalize trades on July 11, the consensus was that superstar center Dwight Howard would finally be traded by the Orlando Magic. Despite numerous trade rumors involving the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets, the Brooklyn Nets were the most likely destination for the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
After learning that the Nets would move on if a deal wasn’t done on Wednesday, the anticipation of the blockbuster trade was all anyone could talk about with everyone waiting to hear the confirmation of Howard being dealt to the Nets.
Unfortunately for Brooklyn, the deal never came to fruition with both sides failing to see eye-to-eye on a trade once again. This led many to believe that Howard’s dream of playing alongside fellow superstar Deron Williams in Brooklyn was officially over.
According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Howard will not be headed to Brooklyn via trade anytime soon:
“The Nets failed again in their pursuit of the superstar center. Orlando pulled away Wednesday afternoon, and the Nets quickly transitioned into Plan B, re-signing Brook Lopez to a four-year deal worth $61 million, sources told the Daily News.”
Once the Nets officially re-signed Brook Lopez, Brooklyn basically called it quits in terms of pursuing Howard for the time being. As a result of Lopez’s new contract, the Nets can’t trade the center until Jan. 15. This means a deal with Orlando is off the table for Brooklyn and the Nets are satisfied with their current situation, at least for now.
As for Howard and the Magic, a blockbuster trade may be made with another team in order for the two sides to part ways. With that being said, the Lakers and Rockets instantly became favorites to land Howard via trade.
It is uncertain at this point in time if a deal will get done in the coming days with the Nets no longer being an option. Despite that being the case, the Lakers have greatly improved their position and leverage in trade talks with the Magic.
A potential three-team trade between the Magic, Lakers and Rockets may still be in the works. If so, Andrew Bynum might still be headed to Houston sometime in the near future. No timetables or deadlines have been made by Orlando in order to get a deal done.
One thing is for certain moving forward, the Magic do not want Howard in Orlando when the season begins and that means a deal has to be done within the next three months or so.