April 10, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Injured Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard claps from the sidelines against the Washington Wizards in the second half at Verizon Center. The Wizards won 93-85. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

How Can the Brooklyn Nets Actually Get Dwight Howard?


With only three players under contact for next season (and that’s if you include Johan Petro in the category of “NBA player”), the Brooklyn Nets do not have the pieces to challenge other teams in the Dwight Howard trade sweepstakes.  And, with Deron Williams openly discussing potentially playing for the Lakers next year, his desire to return to the team and become a Dwight Howard recruiter (should the big man reach free agency) seems to be very low.  So, how can the Nets actually acquire the mercurial center?

To me, it seems there are two potential routes: acquiring numerous pieces this offseason and trading them for Dwight or acquiring Williams and a few other high quality players, hoping he makes it to free agency, and signing him to an enormous contract next offseason.  The second one is barely even worth mentioning, as the Magic are most certainly going to get rid of Dwight and all the hoopla surrounding him as soon as they possibly can.

That puts the Nets in quite a dilemma, as the only way they can get the All-Star center is by trading away players they don’t currently have.   Imagine you’re a free agent looking for a new contract, like Ersan Ilyasova or Gerald Green.  Why would you sign with Brooklyn if you know that they will likely trade you for Howard?  Signing a contract with the Nets, should Billy King attempt to acquire Dwight, would essentially double as signing up for a half-year stay in Brooklyn and playing out the rest of the contract in the Magic Kingdom.

The Nets could look to acquire Dwight as they have in the past, but doing so would completely squash the rebuilding process they need to undergo if they want to return to the form they had earlier this year.  If they sign Deron and trade for Dwight they would have the star power to theoretically compete, but they would create a very small window of opportunity for themselves.  And, as the Miami Heat have shown, it isn’t easy to assemble a team of stars and waltz to the championship.  If Brooklyn wants to put together a competitive team for years to come, acquiring Dwight and following the Miami method of team building is not the way to do it.

Tags: Billy King Dwight Howard

  • raphaelastrow

    The Nets really have no shot at Dwight anymore.  The draft lottery killed their chances because without a first round pick, they have no real trade assets.  Also, the CBA works against the Nets.  Under the new CBA, any free agent the Nets sign cannot be traded until a month into the season.  So they really have nothing to trade this offseason, no matter who they sign.

  • http://Fromrussiawithdunk.com RyanPress

    @raphaelastrow I wasn’t so much suggesting a trade during the offseason as I was prior to the trade deadline. But even that seems unlikely, and your right, the nets are out of the running for the big man, and pursuing him would only hurt the franchise.

  • FromRussiaWDunk

    But if they don’t attempt to get Howard, what are their other options? Billy King has to be thinking that if the Nets don’t make the playoffs next year, he will be fired (as he should be with the time he’s already been given). If he can land Dwight and he is healthy for the entire season, there is no chance of the Nets missing the playoffs. If he cannot get Dwight, even if the Nets are able to sign some other free agents, are they really a playoff team? Probably not, especially if they can’t resign Deron Williams. 

  • raphaelastrow

    Billy King has his hands completely tied right now.  He has no trade assets and has no chance of gaining new ones this offseason because of the CBA rule that players signed from free agency cannot be traded until a month into the season.
    In my opinion, there is only one crazy scenario that the Nets can get D Will and Howard for next season: they load up on solid players this summer (Wallace, Ilyasova, Lopez, maybe Teletovic, and maybe the Hump).  Then, Deron Williams might re-sign with the Nets on a one or two year deal because he wants to open Brooklyn and he sees the Nets have a decent roster and still believes in Billy to bring in another superstar.  At the same time, the Magic might remain reluctant to give up Howard and go into rebuilding mode because they are not happy with any trade proposals.  Then, Dwight would stay with the team until the trade deadline.  At the trade deadline, the Nets might finally have some trade assets and be able to make a trade with Orlando and unite Dwight and D Will in Brooklyn.

  • raphaelastrow

     @RyanPress  yeah agreed.  the nets are out of the running until the trade deadline.  at that point, they could have trade assets.  the nets have already sacrificed so much that if they can trade for dwight, they should do it. 

  • FromRussiaWDunk

     @raphaelastrow There is no chance of that happening because there is no chance of Deron signing anything less than a max contract. Absolutely no chance. If he would even consider doing that, then he wouldn’t have told the L.A. Times yesterday that the Lakers didn’t have enough money to sign him. He wants a 5 or 6 year deal. Also, I really can’t see a Dwight deadline deal. That means it will be a Dwighmare all over again for both the Nets and Magic and neither team wants that. If Howard does not sign a long extension with the Magic at the beginning of the offseason, he will be traded before the beginning of the season. I can nearly guarantee that. 

  • https://twitter.com/#!/Meer2Fly16 Shameer1016

    Some of us actually like Petro and think he’s a great Center 

  • FromRussiaWDunk

     @Shameer1016 Please enlighten us on why you believe that Johan Petro is a “great center”. 

  • raphaelastrow

     @FromRussiaWDunk  @Shameer1016 I love Petro Park!!!