The Brooklyn Nets have better than a 50-50 chance at landing All-Star center Dwight Howard, according to reports.
The Nets made a major push on Sunday in their talks with the Orlando Magic about acquiring the talented, yet disgruntled center. Players involved in a trade continue to fluctuate, but it is believed that the key to any deal is involving a third team. The main reason is that the Magic don't want free agent forward Kris Humphries, but the Nets need to move him in order to take on Howard's large salary.
The deal, according to the New York Post, could involve as many as 14 players and four teams. The blockbuster trade could be finished as early as Monday, though there are still a lot of moving parts.
Yahoo Sports reported on Monday that the proposed trade would send Howard, Jason Richardson, and Earl Clark to the Nets, while the Magic would receive the Nets' Brook Lopez, Damion James, Shelden Williams, three first-round draft picks, and Cleveland's Luke Walton. The Cavaliers would get Humphries, Sundiata Gaines, a first-round pick and three million from the Nets, and Quentin Richardson from the Magic.
One potential hang-up, according to Yahoo Sports, is that Humphries would want a four-year deal if traded to the Cavaliers, as opposed to a one-year deal that he'd likely take to stay with the Nets.
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The latest rumors affirm earlier reports by both Yahoo Sports and CBS Sports that indicated the Nets were in the driver's seat to acquire Howard. Yahoo Sports reported Sunday night that the Nets had overtaken the Los Angeles Lakers as the strongest contender to land Howard, in part because neither Howard nor Andrew Bynum would commit to a long-term deal with the opposing team.
If the Nets are able to land Howard, it would be a major win for owner Mikhail Prokhorov and general manager Billy King. Brooklyn has already had a fantastic offseason by re-signing All-Star point guard Deron Williams and trading for All-Star guard Joe Johnson, but adding a piece like Dwight Howard would propel them to the top of the Eastern Conference with a Big Three that could rival the Miami Heat.
A deal for Howard isn't believed to be imminent, though.