UPDATED: I wrote this blog 10 days ago, but I'm bringing it back.
Billy King indicated otherwise Wednesday, but at some point expect the Nets GM to engage the Magic in talks -- if they haven't already -- about trying to land Dwight Howard.
I wrote about it extensively in the blog below. But here are some cool stats about D-12 courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information:
• Howard led the NBA with 227 dunks last season. As a comparison, the Nets had 269 flushes as a team. Kris Humphries led the way with 99 of them.
• Howard scored 11.6 points per game from inside five feet on 71.8 percent shooting, the third-highest mark in the league (min. 250 attempts).
• By comparison, Brook Lopez averaged 6.2 ppg inside fie feet on 59.4 percent shooting.
• Howard held opponents to a 37.3 field goal percentage as the on-ball defender last season and allowed the fewest points per play (min. 400 plays). The Nets allowed .971 points per play last season, the 26th-best rate in the NBA.
FEWEST POINTS PER PLAY ALLOWED
AS ON-BALL DEFENDER, 2010-2011 SEASON (MIN. 400 PLAYS)
Dwight Howard .735
LeBron James .762
Joakim Noah .764
Tony Allen .764
Here are the other highlights of King's press conference Wednesday:
• King has begun talking to Deron Williams' agent. Once the new CBA becomes officially, he'll be able to actually put in an offer. If Williams opts out, the Nets will be able to offer him five years at around $100 million, while other teams can only offer four years at around $70 million. Those numbers aren't exact, but they're close.
• King is going to be aggressive in free agency. Nene and Tyson Chandler are the Nets' two main targets, since the Nets' main area of need is in the frontcourt. There has been talk within the organization that Brook Lopez may be better suited to play power forward.
According to hoopdata.com, Lopez took a career-high 5.8 shots per game from 10-23 feet last season. So interior players like Nene and Chandler would serve as the perfect compliments to Lopez's perimeter-oriented offensive skill set.
• King would not address the possibility of amnestying Travis Outlaw. Outlaw's abysmal field-goal shooting percentages are well-documented. Overall, he connected on 37.5 percent of his attempts.
According to hoopdata, Outlaw was a 35.2 percent shooter from 3-to-9 feet; a 34.9 percent shooter from 10-to-15 feet and a 38 percent shooter from 16-to-23 feet.
To put it bluntly, the small forward wasn't proficient from any area of the floor.
• One final note: The Nets are expected to round out their coaching staff with assistants P.J. Carlesimo and Mario Elie, reports say.