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Dwight Howard/Nets trade rumor shot down. True or not, consider Howard rumor season open.

Jan 22, 2013, 6:29 PM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

The point here is not the specific rumor itself but what it signifies.

This morning there was a report on Real GM that seemed to sweep across twitter and the Internet like a buffalo stampede — the Nets had interest in acquiring disgruntled Laker Dwight Howard. (I’m calling him disgruntled because I watched him play the last couple games.) The rumor comes from Jared Rudolph, who has shown in the past he has sources tied into Howard’s camp. The rumor called for a three-way trade that would send Howard to Brooklyn, Brook Lopez to Minnesota and Kevin Love to the Lakers. Rudolph says the idea died when Love broke his hand, needed surgery and was out a couple of months.

I’ll say the rumor was dead long before that. As in it never really existed in a viable way. For one the Timberwolves were never called, but if you were them would you trade Love for Lopez? Also:

• The Nets quickly shot the rumor down. Here is what is reported at Nets Daily.

In an email, received minutes after NetsDaily reported on the rumor, the source wrote, “Total BS, Jarrod What ever His Name Is just fabricated a story.” The response was extraordinary and unprecedented in its speed and aggressiveness.

Later, a second Nets source said simply of the report, “Not true.”

• The Lakers got Howard with an eye toward the long term and while he has struggled and looked disinterested of late, that’s a long way from the Lakers bailing on their plan of making him the future. Of course, he’s had a rough half a season so some impatient Lakers fans are ready to trade him for Sasha Vujacic and a rack of shoot around basketballs, but management is not so eager.

But here’s why the rumor matters:

Rudolph’s sources are close to Howard’s camp. If there are people in Howard’s camp thinking he may choose not to re-sign with the Lakers then Los Angeles has to consider options for him as other offers come in around the deadline. And after watching how unhappy he seemed of late, you can bet teams will try to pick the Lakers apart on a deal.

You also can bet the Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak will ask Howard and his agent about whether or not he plans to sign. Not that he will get a direct yes or no, but he can start to gauge intentions.

I would be very surprised if Los Angeles pull the trigger on any deal for Howard. He remains the guy they want to bring back this summer and lead them into the post Kobe era. I don’t these 41 games changed that. And despite everything I’m not sure Howard thinks the grass will be greener elsewhere (and remember the Lakers have his Bird rights and can pay more than anyone else).

But the rumor suggests that an idea that seemed unthinkable — the Lakers and Howard parting ways soon — is moving into people’s thought process. And you can bet teams will inquire about it what it might cost to get Howard.

Let the rumors begin.

  1. echech88 - Jan 22, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    That Lopez-Pekovic double Center lineup would sure suit Ricky Rubio’s skill set and pace.

    I don’t think a fantasy league would even allow that trade.

  2. diehardcubbiefan4life - Jan 22, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Not this again……

  3. sportsnut101 - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    Dumb thought. But if it was Lopez n kris humphries n a 2nd rd pk. Why not. Love doesn’t seem happy there no1 wants to sign with twolves. In free agency

    But how many time is everyone gonna help the lakers Lets enjoy them lose for once.

    I would laugh if Howard walks lol.

  4. biasedhomer - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    TWolves could do a lot better than Lopez and his unwarranted max contract for Love.

  5. hoodheisman - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    As a Laker fan, I’m kind of glad this is developing as the Lakers need to get rid of small ball D’Antoni ASAP. The clown has pissed off every single big man on the team. Howard, Gasol, and Jamison are over his act. Hill has had problems with him from his NY days. I don’t know what the best solution is outside of Phil Jackson…. but losing small ball D’Antoni would be addition by subtraction (and short Buss should tuck tail and remove himself from the next coaching search).

  6. cbad760 - Jan 22, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    biased homer is an appropriate name. Lopez has proven his contract is no fluke this season. I completely disagree that loves value is considerably higher than Lopez. Anyone that puts out statements like the authors simply isn’t paying attention .

    • savvybynature - Jan 22, 2013 at 10:45 PM

      While Lopez has had a season so far to shut up the doubters, Love had just as good of a season last year over more games (both had PERs just above 25).

      Also, while they both have had injuries, I’d take Love’s injury history in a heartbeat over Lopez’s. Foot problems on giant people tend to be chronic or reoccurring. See: Bogut, Andrew.

      I think Love has more value, and then there is the fact that the Nets have been shopping Lopez for as long as I can remember. They might be wrong, but 7′ people don’t grow on trees so you’d think there is a reason he has been and will remain available.

      • Kevin S. - Jan 22, 2013 at 11:26 PM

        The Nets haven’t been shopping him, they’ve been trying to use him to get Dwight Howard. That’s somewhat different than just trying to get rid of a guy.

  7. david407 - Jan 22, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Brooke Lopez is soft

  8. cooladrian22 - Jan 22, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    Honestly this is the ONE trade that makes sense if the Lakers are worried about Dwight leaving. The Nets can offer Lopez, Humpries some 1sts and Marshon Brooks(who is a hell of a talent) for Howard+ some fill in.

  9. latchbeam - Jan 22, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Meanwhile, Mike Brown is smiling somewhere…

  10. onelildude - Jan 22, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Yeah I’m sure the T Wolves want Lopez and his 5 rebounds a game.

    • Kevin S. - Jan 22, 2013 at 11:40 PM

      Brook Lopez grabs basically the same percentage of rebounds that Pekovic does. This trade makes no sense because Lopez and Pekovic wouldn’t be a good mesh, but it’s not like Lopez + extras wouldn’t be reasonable value for Love.

  11. brotherlove2012 - Jan 22, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    A classic case of “we are the Lakers, so let’s screw a small market team like we did Memphis some years ago in the Gasol trade” … If Minnesota goes for a trade like this, they don’t even deserve to be part of the NBA.

  12. mcjon22 - Jan 22, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    LOL The most ignorant trade rumor I have ever read. The T-Wolves would trade Kevin Love for Brook Lopez? GTFO

  13. 00maltliquor - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    Oooooh boy, this kind of bad is going from 0 to 60 quicker then you can squeak out a fart. Not liking this at all.

  14. cantonbound13 - Jan 23, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    Not again!!!! Make it stop!!!

  15. cantonbound13 - Jan 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    This is just as bad as the Brett Favre comeback saga.

  16. jjocasio3 - Jan 23, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Howard for Bosh, only trade I think that would work, but I hope the Lakers don’t move him. SMH Baby Buss really screwed this one up.

  17. franchiseplaya - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    How about houston? no team will trade for howard unless they feel they can keep him. playing with lin and harden might be an enticement for howard to resign. lin showed he can play with a talented center in NY w/ Chandler and they have Asik who is a pretty reliable bigman to give up. Asik isnt a prima donna who wants to dominate the ball and ive never heard of him having any serious medical issues but i havent really followed his career arc so i’m not 100% on that. of course there are other considerations but on its face it might be a decent fit.

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