One of the most dramatic NBA story lines in recent history is looking to be gaining steam again as the Brooklyn Nets’ general manager Billy King is reportedly going to back after the Lakers’ center Dwight Howard, according to Jarrod N. Rudolph via Sulia:
Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King has kept a close eye on the struggling Lakers and quietly searched for a third team with an attractive piece that would help facilitate a trade that would deliver Howard to the Nets, according to sources.
The Howard saga was on and off again for the better part for the last season and a half as he continually changed his mind about where he wanted to end up as a free agent. Howard demanded a trade to the Nets to team up with point guard Deron Williams and repeatedly told Orlando that he did not want to continue on as the Magic center — and he also said on several occasions that he would like to stay if the Magic could put together a team that can contend.
Howard’s flip-flopping ended up with the Magic’s head coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith getting fired in hopes the team could retain Howard.
Instead, the Magic were able to engage the Lakers, 76ers, and Nuggets in a four team deal that sent Howard to Los Angeles, Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia and Andre Iguodala to Denver. And now, the Nets are searching for a third team that would send Howard to Brooklyn in another mega deal that involves the star center. More from Rudolph:
According to sources, King was planning to contact the Minnesota Timberwolves in order to gauge their interest in a three-team trade that would send Kevin Love to the Lakers, Brook Lopez to the Timberwolves and Dwight Howard to the Nets. Other small pieces would need to be included, but the proposed trade was thought to be intriguing enough to start conversations in the Lakers front office that would force them to deal with Howard earlier than planned.
While it’s tough to speculate how much value these rumors have in January, it is important to note that Howard will become a free-agent this off season and could walk away from the Lakers without Los Angeles receiving anything in return should he want to go, so a sign and-trade-scenario that involves multiple teams is certainly plausible during the off season. If the Lakers can’t find a way to turn their season around, Howard could very well want to leave the City of Angels for a more stable basketball team.
UPDATE – The good folks over at Lakers Nation caught up with Jarrod Rudolph for an exclusive interview with the man who broke the story.
Also, our friends at SB Nation gave us the heads up on the rumors from the Nets front office’s point of view. Check out the story at NetsDaily.