Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Howard wants no part of Nets questions
By Mike Mazzeo
Nets fans may want Dwight Howard, but the Magic center does not want to talk about his request to be traded to New Jersey.
"We're not talking about the Nets right now," Howard told reporters after the team's practice on Wednesday, according to the Orlando Sentinel. "We're talking about the Magic. That's the team I play for. There's no need to talk about any other team, who's interested in who or not. So I'm not going to get into a discussion about that.”
The Nets play the Magic on Thursday night in Orlando.
According to a tweet from the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Howard told reporters he watched some of the Nets' blowout loss to the Hawks in their home opener on Tuesday night, but claimed he did not hear the fans chanting "We Want Howard!" throughout the second half.
"I watched it on mute," the perennial All-Star said.
Nets superstar point guard Deron Williams has said he'd love to play with Howard, and that he'd definitely re-sign if the Nets were able to land Howard. Williams has reiterated his desire to remain with the organization as long as it puts the right amount of talent around him.
"Me and Deron have talked for a couple of years," Howard said. "We did play with each other in the Olympics. You know, I've talked to a lot of guys, not just Deron."
Howard prefers to go to one of three destinations: New Jersey, Dallas and the Lakers.
The Hawks, sources told Stein, have emerged as a potential trade partner, and recently offered Joe Johnson and Josh Smith in exchange for Howard, but Stein thinks they’d have to include Al Horford to be a legitimate threat. Atlanta is Howard's hometown, but the Hawks weren't on the list of his preferred destinations, likely because of their uncertain ownership situation, Stein reports.
If the Lakers were willing to give up both Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, they'd be the favorites to get Howard, but league insiders tell Stein they're unwilling to do so. But if they change their minds, a three-team trade could possibly be consummated with Howard ending up in L.A., Orlando getting Bynum, Luis Scola and Kevin Martin, and Houston winding up with Gasol.
Bynum has a history of injuries, but now so does 23-year-old Brook Lopez, who was the centerpiece in the Nets' three-team blockbuster proposal that was nixed before it could get done.
Lopez is out for at least the next six weeks with a broken foot.