The Brooklyn Nets are preparing to make another run at Dwight Howard, according to a source.
Playing in Brooklyn with Deron Williams and Joe Johnson was at the top of Howard’s list last summer and the Nets are convinced that he still has a strong desire to make the Barclays Center his home office. The Nets have played well under P.J. Carlesimo and feel like the addition of Howard could be the piece that gets them to the NBA Finals.
Nets general manager Billy King has closely monitored the struggling Lakers and quietly searched for a third team with an attractive piece that would help facilitate a trade that would deliver Howard to the Nets, according to sources.
The Lakers have struggled through injuries, a coaching change and a lack of chemistry this season. The team is currently 17-24 and facing the reality that missing the playoffs seems inevitable. The feeling out of Brooklyn is that Howard can be had for the right price because of the Lakers’ struggles and long-term commitment to a collection of pieces that just don’t seem to fit or complement Howard’s assortment of skills.
The only missing element was a third team with an attractive piece that would force the Lakers to consider the future of the franchise and directly question Howard about the direction he’s leaning at this point of the season. King, according to sources, was confident that he had a trade proposal that was a perfect fit for all teams involved.
According to sources, King was planning to contact the Minnesota Timberwolves in order to gauge their interest in a three-team trade that would send Kevin Love to the Lakers, Brook Lopez to the Timberwolves and Dwight Howard to the Nets. Other small pieces would need to be included, but the proposed trade was thought to be intriguing enough to start conversations in the Lakers front office that would force them to deal with Howard earlier than planned.
That idea, however, was shelved when Love was sidelined 8-10 weeks with a broken hand. The Nets believed the Lakers would be interested in Love, but not an injured Love, even if they’re facing missing the playoffs, according to sources.
King will still look around for an attractive piece for the Lakers, but won’t make getting Howard as big a priority as last season, according to sources. But he will continue to watch the Lakers and explore intriguing trade options, sources said.
Via Jarrod Rudolph/******