Before the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Dwight Howard via trade back in August, the Brooklyn Nets appeared to be the frontrunner to land the superstar center.
With Howard making it clear that he wanted to be traded to Brooklyn, it seemed to be only a matter of time before the deal would come to fruition with Howard playing alongside fellow superstars Deron Williams and Joe Johnson.
Unfortunately for the Nets, working out a deal with the Orlando Magic to acquire the three-time Defensive Player of the Year was virtually impossible with the two sides failing to see eye-to-eye. Once GM Billy King came to the conclusion that bringing in Howard was not going to happen, the Nets re-signed Brook Lopez to a long-term deal and moved on.
According to Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com, King wasn’t the only one that knew Howard wasn’t coming to Brooklyn:
“One thing Deron did say to me, he said, ‘Please, just don’t wait on Dwight. We can’t wait and not have a team,'” King said during the premiere of NBA TV’s “The Association: Brooklyn Nets,” which will air on Oct. 16.
Over the past year or so, it was a foregone conclusion that the Lakers acquiring Howard would be a long shot. The Nets had the clear edge in trade talks and were on the verge of pulling the trigger on the blockbuster trade.
With that being said, the only way the Lakers would be able to pull off the deal to acquire Howard would be if something went wrong with the deal the Nets were offering the Magic. Ironically enough, that’s exactly what happened and the perennial All-Star was shipped to Los Angeles rather than Brooklyn.
The fact that Williams was content with the Nets pulling out of talks to trade for Howard is a surprise. With the Lakers and Dallas Mavericks also courting Williams, the biggest selling point for Brooklyn was bringing in Howard and creating legitimate title contender that would be able to compete with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference.
As a consolation, the Nets were able to re-sign Lopez, Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace while bringing in Johnson via trade. Brooklyn also added a few players in free agency with C.J. Watson, Andray Blatche and Josh Childress signing with the team over the summer.
Acquiring Howard would have definitely made Brooklyn the talk of the NBA heading into the upcoming season rather than being just another team that was able to upgrade their roster over the summer, but considering that the Nets were unable to make the deal this team is considerably better with a decent chance to be force to be reckoned with moving forward.