AP Photo/John Raoux
The New Jersey Nets have entered into serious talks with the Orlando Magic on a multi-team trade scenario that would bring Dwight Howard to the Nets, according to sources close to the process.
Sources told ESPN.com that the most active proposal discussed by the teams would make Portland Trail Blazers swingman Gerald Wallace and Nets center Brook Lopez two of the main pieces Orlando would receive in exchange for Howard.
As part of such a trade, which could be expanded to include a fourth team, sources say Orlando also would shed the long-term contracts of Hedo Turkoglu and Chris Duhon — both would be absorbed by the Nets — while also potentially receiving future draft considerations.
Other players would have to be added to the deal to make the salary-cap math work, but sources said Portland would receive multiple first-round picks as part of the exchange for surrendering Wallace and facilitating the trade.
UPDATE: Let’s start with what we know.
The New Jersey Nets are willing to give up Brook Lopez and draft picks as well as absorb salary in exchange for Dwight Howard.
In this case, the Nets would be taking on the salaries of Hedo Turkoglu and Chris Duhon. According to Sham Sports, New Jersey would be relieving the Orlando Magic of roughly $14.5 million in 2012 and $15.5 million in 2013. In 2014, the final year of Turkoglu’s and Duhon’s contracts, the Nets wouldn’t be on the hook for the full value of their salaries. Turkoglu’s contract is only $6 million guaranteed, while Duhon’s is $1.5 million if waived on or before June 13, 2013.
And Lopez comes at a much cheaper cost than Howard, given that he remains on a rookie scale contract for the next two seasons.
Essentially, the Magic would be slashing payroll in a hurry.
The involvement of the Portland Trail Blazers is where things get really confusing really fast. In the proposed three-team trade, the Trail Blazers would be sending Gerald Wallace to Orlando alongside Brook Lopez. But what else would the Magic be receiving? Another draft pick? And from which team?
Chad Ford of ESPN.com reported that New Jersey was prepared to offer five first-round picks. FIVE. However, according to Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated, Portland was set to receive four of them. FOUR. Which means, in the flurry of things getting exchanged, Orlando would be getting one first-rounder in return. Again, there’s a number of reports out there and it was never made clear the exact compensation (Johan Petro or Jordan Farmar could be in the mix as well) that the Magic were going to get for Howard. But it looks like it’s Lopez, Wallace, a first-round pick, salary relief, and Petro or Farmar. That’s it?
Even if Orlando was getting multiple first-rounders alongside Lopez and Wallace, that’s it?
Look, if the Magic trade Howard, unless they’re getting LeBron James in return, they’re not going to get full value for him. As the saying goes, you never get full value back when you trade a superstar. You don’t. But Lopez, Wallace, salary relief, a first-round pick, and Petro or Farmar?