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Lopez injury limits Orlando’s Dwight Howard trade options

Dec 22, 2011, 4:25 PM EDT


The foot injury to Nets center Brook Lopez has not left the Dwight Howard trade stuck in the mud.

It was already there.

Orlando has put the breaks on the process — they are not ready to trade Howard. Maybe they think they can convince him to stay, maybe they think the offers improve closer to the deadline. Until the Magic are ready to deal, everyone is just spinning their wheels and kicking up mud.

But when the Magic do decide is time, they will find their options limited.

The Nets were one of the three teams Dwight Howard said he would sign an extension with if traded. (The Lakers and the Mavericks are the others.) The Nets were considered the frontrunner because Howard wanted to be there and because of a package of picks and players — with Lopez at the heart of it.

But is that going to happen now? There are a lot of questions.

Do the Magic still want Lopez as a centerpiece? Foot issues can linger and it sounds like the Nets want to rush Lopez back — they are saying four-to-six weeks for an injury that takes months to heal. Look at Roddy Beaubois in Dallas, he had this same injury, was out more than five months and was not the same player when he returned.

Can the Nets get other teams involved? Check out this tweet from ESPN’s Marc Stein.

In last week’s proposal, Nets offered five first-round picks and recruited Blazers to send Gerald Wallace to Magic. They need more help now

Are the Lakers in the driver’s seat? Maybe. They are offering Andrew Bynum and maybe Pau Gasol too (depends on who you ask). If the Magic decide to deal tomorrow the Lakers have the best package of guys they can ship out ready to play. But this goes back to the first thing we said — until the Magic decide deal, nobody is really in the best position to make a trade.

The Nets have one other concern — Deron Williams. The Nets are going to suck this season. Even with Williams and Lopez (who have them 20 points a game last season, Lopez is a borderline All-Star) the Nets might not have made he playoffs. Now they are certainly headed for the lottery.

What if Williams isn’t coming back, do the Nets need to trade him? Do they need to just give up on trading for a star and rebuild through the draft? Can the sell that to Brooklyn?

If Howard and Williams become free agents next summer, Mark Cuban and the Mavericks will be sitting right there with a lot of cap space.

Lots of questions. The only thing we know is that with Lopez injured the Nets will not like whatever answers the find.

  1. raidmagic - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    I’m not sure why the Magic wouldn’t have done that deal for Lopez, Wallace and 5 first round picks. Any idea on the timeline or condition of the pics? I mean come on it’s not like the Nets would be any better than the Magic are right now clearly this isn’t as much about winning as it is about getting out of Orlando for Howard. I wonder what made him hate Orlando so much all of a sudden

    • eureca323 - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:23 PM

      Weren’t the 5 first round picks going to the Blazers for Wallace?

      • goforthanddie - Dec 22, 2011 at 9:48 PM

        I saw reports of 3 1s, and 4 1s, but not 5.

  2. tampajoey - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    Franchise Tag Howard! Oh, that’s right, this isn’t the NFL where small market teams are allowed to be competitive via franchise tags and a real salary cap.

  3. yankeesjetsknicksrangers - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    This is a disaster, and “when” Deron leaves it will cripple this franchise for a number of years down the road. I can’t say this enough that nobody cares about the NJ or Brooklyn Nets.

    Jay Z and Beyonce better be performing their old a@@ songs at halftime just to get a few people through the door, cause they aren’t going to be coming there for the basketball.

    • david8726 - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:08 PM

      Yea, I don’t see how there’s a happy ending for the Nets. Their big chance was flipping Lopez for Howard, and now that’s up in smoke.

      I’d get to the business of trading Deron sooner rather than later if I were them, because he’s gone.

  4. sweetnlow44 - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    Does anybody proofread these articles before making them public?

    • thatboi901 - Dec 22, 2011 at 8:31 PM

      proofreading died a longggg time ago on this site.

    • khuxford - Dec 23, 2011 at 9:28 AM

      What’s worse: it looks like this was typed up on a phone with a Swype keyboard. “the” instead of “they”. “have” instead of “gave”. Ugh.

  5. jrob1030 - Dec 22, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Weren’t the 5 first round picks going to the Blazers for Wallace?
    Yep the magic give up Dwight to get Gerald Wallace while the blazers come out of nowhere to get 5 first round picks from the nets, that makes a lot of sense

  6. smeech65 - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    The Magic need to somehow get Deron. He is leaving the Nets anyway, so the Nets should try to cut their losses now before they get nothing for him.

    • Kurt Helin - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:53 AM

      What is on the Magic roster the Nets want? Nothing.

  7. passerby23 - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    Howard may still sign as a free agent in the off-season with the Nets. We can expect them to be among the worst teams in the league this season, which means getting a solid pick from a deep draft. Williams, Kirilenko, Okur, Morrow, Humphries, and other draft picks, this is a team that has something to build on. it’s not time to hit the panic button in New Jersey/Brooklyn yet.

  8. chuckj1234 - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    Who ever wants howard has to take Hedo Turkoglu and his big contract. Case closed.

  9. chuckj1234 - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    p.s. That is why the lakers traded Odom to make room for the cap space.

  10. baskallen1 - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:41 AM

    The better question is what on the Nets roster do the magic really want? Lopez is good but the rest of the roster is garbage. Knowing they won’t be getting Williams in return.

  11. vstyle23 - Dec 24, 2011 at 8:18 AM

    Does anyone feel like me, D12 is over rated. Very flashy dunks, great defense, but can’t put a team on his back to win a championship. Not a good scorer, so he’ll always need someone else. I say we go get Gasol and Bynum and call it a day. They both can bring more to the table then one Dwight.

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