New Jersey Nets Prepared to Offer Trade for Dwight Howard
It was only a matter of time before the Dwight Howard trade rumors started up. Marc Stein of ESPN is reporting that the New Jersey Nets are prepared to offer Brook Lopez, and two future first-round draft picks for Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu. Brook Lopez last season averaged 20.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game.
Turk has three seasons left on his contract worth roughly $35 million. If the Magic choose to use the amnesty option this season on a player, most believe it will be Gilbert Arenas, both the trade and amnesty could free up between $30-50 million in cap room.
There’s no question that Dwight’s future in Orlando will be one of the biggest story lines of the upcoming season. With the season starting on Christmas Day, teams can begin making Official roster moves on Dec. 9th. According to Stein, teams and agents can begin discussing player signings Wednesday at 9am. Starting at midnight Friday the 2nd, teams can start negotiating contracts.
Along with the Nets’ offer, the Lakers are expected to offer the Magic a package of Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, and Lamar Odom for Dwight.
Since the announcement of a deal that would end the NBA lockout, I’ve been convinced more and more that amnestying Gilbert may not be the best move to make right now.
As Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld points out, amnestying Gilbert or Hedo right now won’t give Orlando enough cap room to go after a big-name free agent. The only benefit of amnestying one of these players is to get the team under the luxury tax threshold, which if it does that, the team can only offer the full mid-level exception contract. The full mid-level exception only offers a player up to $5 million, and let’s face it, Dwight isn’t staying for a $5 million type of player. Under the first two years of the new agreement, teams over the luxury tax will still be taxed the current dollar-for-dollar penalty.
With that being said, the only other option for the Magic to seek is trading. Other than Dwight Howard, the team has no big assets. Along with the Nets and Lakers offers, the Clipper have also expressed interest in Howard, but there is no way the Clippers are trading Blake Griffin.
I seriously doubt the Magic will give this Nets trade offer much thought, this deal would be good if the Magic want to rebuild without Dwight. With the luxury tax situation the same, at least for the next two years, you have to think Otis still has the green light to drop cash on anyone he feels necessary.
I think the Magic should stay put with the current roster — for now. The team will make a few minor moves to fill out the roster (ten players under contract) and still listen to trade offers. I think Otis should wait and see how the team does, see how Gilbert is playing before making any moves. At the end of the day Gilbert is still a guy that has the potential to become the elite PG we once saw. Of course the Magic have Otis Smith as GM, and at any given point after Dec. 9th, any roster move is possible.
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