The Dwight Howard trade to New Jersey might be dead if it isn't completed by the end of the week, according to a report.
The Newark Star-Ledger reported Monday night that the Nets will walk away from a proposed trade with the Orlando Magic for Howard if the team isn't able to acquire the star forward/center by the end of the week.
The Nets have a Plan A, B, C, and D, according to a Star-Ledger source and would likely go after free agent center Nene, if the Howard trade falls through.
If the Star-Ledger report is to be believed, it could mean a Nene signing could happen soon, as the Magic have told ESPN that they are not looking to trade Howard at this time.
Howard has asked to be traded twice within the last two weeks, but told reporters on Monday that he'd be willing to stay in Orlando if the team made personnel moves to his liking. ESPN reported on Monday that Howard wanted the Magic to sign recently released point guard Chauncey Billups, but the Clippers picked him up after another version of the Chris Paul trade fell through.
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.
Sources close to Howard have said that he wants to play with friend Deron Williams in New Jersey, but he appears to be wavering on that request. Howard's agent, Dan Fegan, has been granted permission to negotiate with the Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks, but no considerable action has been taken.
The Lakers had focused on acquiring the Hornets' Paul, but after commissioner David Stern nixed a three-team deal, have now turned their focus to acquiring Howard. The Lakers would love to acquire Howard in a package that'd likely include Andrew Bynum and/or Pau Gasol and are likely more willing to let it play out than the Nets.