It figures: mere hours after reports that the Nets were in "serious talks" with the Orlando Magic to trade for superstar Dwight Howard, Orlando has made it clear that they aren't planning on trading the face of their franchise (for now). For what it's worth, according to Yahoo Sports, Howard "is not a happy camper" with that decision. Which means we can all look forward to going through all this again in four months!
Earlier today, bereft of any other tantalizing free agent options, the Nets concentrated all they had into assembling a multiteam trade proposal for Howard that would have sent the Magic center Brook Lopez, Portland Trail Blazers forward Gerald Wallace, point guard Jordan Farmar and a first-round draft pick. The Nets also would have taken on Chris Duhon and Hedo Turkoglu. The Blazers would have received four draft picks for Wallace. And then, at the last minute, it was like the Carmelo-trade-that-wasn't all over again.
The team ultimately decided they'd rather roll the dice on being able to convince Howard to stay than trade him now. And as Magic General Manager Otis Smith told the Orlando Sentinel, it's not like the Nets offer won't be around later in the season: “I don’t think there’s anything on the table that won’t be on the table three months from now."
What's next for the Nets? Um...re-signing Kris Humphries? The team has no backup plans now that Nene has signed with the Denver Nuggets. Basically, all they can do is hope that Howard is so put off by this whole experience that he doesn't relent on his trade demands; according to Yahoo Sports, Howard warned the Magic today "if they don’t move him by the March 15 trade deadline, they’ll lose him for nothing in free agency." The Nets just have to cross their fingers that Howard really, really is sold on the idea of pairing with Deron Williams in a new Brooklyn arena beginning next year.