This should finally end all of the Dwight Howard to Brooklyn trade rumors…until January 15th.
According to the The Star-Ledger, Lopez and the Brooklyn Nets agreed on a maximum-salary contract of $61 million over four years.
The deal means the Nets are officially out of the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. Teams are not able to newly-signed players, other than sign and trade deals, until January 15th, 2013. Lopez will be Brooklyn’s starting center at the opening of the 2012-13 season.
What does this mean for Dwight Howard? Is this a smart move by Brooklyn? Will Howard’s asking price drop by January?
Howard appears to be the odd man out in Orlando. He has done everything but spit on the Magic franchise since he “injured” his back late last season and missed the playoffs. The big man has made it clear that he wants out and his relationship with the team is beyond fractured.
I look for Howard to realize he can’t put a Magic jersey back on and forces a trade to another team. Magic fans will no longer embrace him and he has to go.
The Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers have made it clear that they would like to trade for him, even if it’s a rental for one season. Those teams believe they could entice Howard to sign a long-term deal once he is within the organization. Brooklyn made a similar gamble when they traded with the Utah Jazz for Deron Williams…he just signed a long-term deal to stay with Brooklyn.
The Nets are looking more and more like a playoff team. Their team currently has Lopez, Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallce, MarShon Brooks (who’s underrated), and Mirza Teletovic in their rotation. This team looks like a top-five seed in the Eastern Conference.