Report: Nets move back to front of line for Dwight Howard trade

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At some point the roulette wheel will stop spinning, the ball will stop bouncing around and find it’s slot, and Dwight Howard is going to get traded. Promise. It’s going to happen someday.

While it feels close, like it could happen today, we’re not there yet.

For now, the Nets have moved back to the front of the line in talks, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Network.

After spending most of Tuesday negotiating with Rockets and Lakers, Orlando has re-engaged Brooklyn today, league sources tell Y! Sports.

At this point we are talking a two-team trade between them with Brook Lopez and some picks heading back to Orlando, and with the Magic also trying to unload the contract of Jason Richardson.

The Nets are putting pressure on the Magic to get a deal done on Wednesday, because they need to make a move one way or another with Brook Lopez — he is a free agent and other teams are showing interest in him now that the markets for big men has thinned out. Specifically, the Trail Blazers and Bobcats have reportedly readied offers.

Once the Nets sign Lopez, he cannot be part of a trade (until Dec. 15). The Nets need to move one way or another soon.

Lopez and the Nets have agreed to four max years and are working out the details of the fifth year, Wojnarowski reports. Nets GM Billy King will try to keep Lopez on the hook for most of the day, but if the trade for Howard falls through the Nets will lock up Lopez. At too high a price, but they will have him.

The Magic continue to talk to the Rockets, Lakers and other teams. But the Nets are back at the front of the que.

The Nets just want to get this done one way or another. Which would be good for all of us, we’re ready for this to end.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”