UPDATE 4:54 pm: The Clippers may be the fourth team in the deal, reports both Ken Berger at CBSSports.com and Chad Ford at ESPN. The Clippers would send a first round pick to the Nets for MarShon Brooks, then the Nets would ship that pick to the Magic as part of the deal.
This appears to be getting very close.
Here is the deal as ESPN describes it now:
According to sources the Nets would receive Howard, Jason Richardson, Chris Duhon and Earl Clark in the proposed deal. The Magic would get Brook Lopez in a sign-and-trade, Luke Walton, Damion James, Shelden Williams, Armon Johnson and three first-round picks — two from the Nets and a lottery protected first from the Clippers. The Cavs would get Kris Humphries in a sign-and-trade, Quentin Richardson, Sundiata Gaines, a first round pick from the Nets and three million in cash. The Clippers would receive MarShon Brooks.
2:26 pm: We start with this disclaimer — this deal is not yet approved. And complex deals can fall apart fast.
But this one is picking up steam and details of what the Dwight Howard three-team trade involving the Nets and Cavaliers might be are starting to leak out.
The deal remains in flux, but Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (and who you can see on the NBC Sports Network tonight) broke down the details of the trade as of right now.
In the proposed deal, Howard, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark would be sent to Brooklyn, and the Magic would receive the Nets’ Brook Lopez, Damion James, Sheldon Williams, Cleveland’s Luke Walton and three future first-round picks, sources said. Cleveland would receive Orlando’s Quentin Richardson, Brooklyn’s Sundiata Gaines, Kris Humphries (on a one-year guaranteed deal), a first-round pick and $3 million from the Nets. Brooklyn also would send (MarShon) Brooks to a fourth team to get them an additional first-round pick to send to the Magic.
Both teams will want their doctors to examine the other key people in this trade — the Nets want to look at Howard’s back, the Magic at Lopez’s foot.
Even after that there are a lot of questions. Will Humphries sign a one-year deal in Cleveland or will he demand the security of a multi-year deal. Will Brooks agree to sign wherever he might land? What kind of picks can the Nets get for MarShon Brooks?
Then the big one, is this the best the Magic can do?
It’s a whole lot less than the Hornets were able to get back for Chris Paul.
You never get equal value trading an NBA superstar. There are maybe 10 (Bobcats GM Rich Cho will say less than that) in the NBA and you need one or more to win. When you get one, you fight not to let him go. And if you have to move him you never get equal value because you’re not getting another franchise anchor back.
But the question becomes, how much can you get back? What is enough?
That’s the question Orlando’s front office is weighing.
The Nets are pushing for it because if they land Howard to go with Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, they are a powerhouse title contender.