Based on all indications, Dwight Howard wants out of Orlando. He is under contract for this season, but can opt out of his deal after the year (he has a player option for 2012-2013). The Lakers may try to acquire him via trade or free agency, but for now, reports say Dwight is trying to force a trade to the Nets.
The Nets reportedly are offering center Brook Lopez and two first-round draft picks for Howard. Lopez is better than average at center, but Dwight is one of the consensus top five players in the game. It’s a good deal for the Nets, even if they only get Howard for one season. They’d be able to pair him with point guard Deron Williams, whom they also acquired via trade, and see if they can sign either player longterm after the season. The pairing would present a lethal combination.
If the Nets can land Howard, they would be a top four team in the East. Moreover, they would give the Heat absolute fits because they would be strong exactly where the Heat are weak. Miami doesn’t have a center to face Dwight (please, don’t tell me Joel Anthony). They don’t have a point guard who can keep up with Deron Williams. That doesn’t mean they would lose to the Nets in the playoffs, but just keep in mind that the matchup may favor the Nets.
New Jersey has very little depth and would have to add many more players to become competitive, but with Dwight Howard and Deron Williams, they would have two players who are arguably in the top two at their position. It certainly would make the East a lot more interesting.