The New Jersey Nets are closing in on a multiteam deal that would bring Orlando Magic superstar Dwight Howard to New Jersey, according to a report.
ESPN reported on Wednesday that a three-team deal between the Nets, Magic, and Portland Trail Blazers has been actively discussed and appears to be the most likely transaction to involve Howard at this time.
The proposed deal would likely send: Howard and Hedo Turkoglu to New Jersey; Trail Blazers forward Gerald Wallace and Nets center Brook Lopez to the Magic; and a slew of draft picks to Portland.
The Nets have made a trade for Howard the team's top priority, despite past reports that suggest the team will end discussions if no deal is reached by the end of the week. The Nets were very interested in signing Nuggets center Nene, but after the Brazilian resigned in Denver, all of the Nets' eggs have been placed in the Howard basket.
If the Nets are able to acquire Howard, the team would likely have to use its amnesty clause on Travis Howard and renounce the rights to free-agent Kris Humphries, according to ESPN.
It's clear that the Nets are committed to making a deal, but Howard to New Jersey isn't a slam dunk.
The Magic have also had discussions with the Los Angeles Lakers about a Howard trade, but Howard has previously told the Magic's management that he would like to play with point guard Deron Williams in New Jersey.
The Lakers would likely offer a package involving Andrew Bynum and/or Pau Gasol, as well throw in a combination of draft picks and other players. The Lakers are one of three teams - New Jersey and Dallas being the others - that Howard's agent has been allowed to negotiate with.
After the Lakers' Chris Paul trade fell through it has also likely made Howard its main focus, but the Magic appear hesitant to trade their biggest star.
Howard has demanded a trade twice within the last two weeks, but also has talked about how much he loves Orlando and would consider staying if the team made the right personnel changes.
I love this city, there is no place I'd rather be but Orlando, Howard told reporters on Monday. I just want to make sure we have the right things here so we can win a championship. I'm all about change. If you're willing to change and you're willing to do what it takes to win then, you know, you got me.
The Magic appear much more willing to hold onto Howard and try to convince him to stay in Orlando than the Hornets have been with their star, Chris Paul. The hope is that by acquiring additional talent to surround Howard - including recently acquired Glen Davis -- the organization can convince Howard to stay with the only team he's ever played for.
I'm an optimist, Magic CEO Alex Martins said. I am confident that we can work with Dwight and convince him to stay here long-term.
That optimism could slow down any potential Howard trade. The Nets have put together a more than fair offer to the Magic, but some have speculated that the Magic feel no rush to make a deal because they know the Nets' offer will always be there.