Dwight Howard offers
ESPN is reporting that the Nets want to offer center Brook Lopez and two future first-round picks for Howard and forward Hedo Turkoglu. Turkoglu is a part of the deal as an offer by the Nets to take on his contract and the nearly $35 million that he is still owed. It's certainly a good way to sweeten the deal, especially because he has three more years left on his current contract. The big issue here, of course, is that the Magic may not want to even think about trading Howard unless he brings a superstar in return.
Orlando may have to do something if the team doesn't feel it can get Howard to agree to a contract extension at some point this season. Howard is entering the final year of a deal that pays him just about $18 million this year, even though he does have a player option for $19.2 million next year. There is really no incentive for him to accept that option until he gets an extension in place, so it is an expectation that he will try free agency. That's the last thing that Orlando wants to deal with, and the franchise could have an important decision coming.
On the surface, this seems like a horrible deal for the Magic, especially because it is so difficult to quantify the worth of those first-round draft picks. If New Jersey gets good with a core of Howard and Williams, the value will drop quite a bit, making it less of an enticing deal for Orlando to make. It seems very likely that this deal is not what will pry Howard away from Orlando, but it doesn't hurt New Jersey to take the first step at making an interesting offer. If nothing else, the Nets are showing that they are willing to wheel-and-deal in order to improve the team right away.
NBA fans should get ready to hear about Howard trade rumors until something actually gets done in the situation, and it is going to feel very similar to what the Denver Nuggets went through with Carmelo Anthony last season.