Did the New Jersey Nets hold an illegal meeting with Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard? That seems to be the implication if you follow some of the rumors swirling in and around the major news media outlets on Friday morning.
According to a report filed by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports the Magic may even be considering filing tampering charges against the Nets in light revelations of the alleged secret meeting:
The Nets are under siege with SI.com and ESPN.com reports they held an illegal meeting in Miami this week with owner Mikhail Prokhorov, King and Magic center Dwight Howard. NBA.com reported the Magic are considering filing tampering charges.
Howard had a meeting scheduled with Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins mid-week, but canceled it at the last minute, a league source told Yahoo! Sports. Orlando was trying to smooth over a bizarre phone incident involving retired CEO Bob Vander Weide, who was reportedly trying to gauge where Howard stood on his future intentions with the Magic.
So what are the possible implications if the Nets did violate the league’s tampering policy? Well let’s just say the ripple effects could be felt all the way out to Los Angeles.
Last night Lakers Nation reported that the Nets had become the front runners to land Howard’s services with a package built around Brooke Lopez and draft picks. However, with rumors of Nene possibly going to New Jersey and tampering charges conceivably pending, does this open the door for a potential Howard-to-Lakers move?
In short, absolutely. If the Nets deal for Howard did fall apart then L.A., with Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom still available to trade (assuming the Chris Paul deal is not reversed), becomes the next most logical destination for Howard to land.
Of course the situation is still fluid and nothing will be locked down just yet. All fans can do now is stay tuned as the drama continues to unfold.