Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld.com and USA Today recently sent out a tweet stating that the list of potential suitors for Dwight Howard has grown to include the Brooklyn Nets, along with other teams and the ones what we’ve already heard being bandied about all off-season.
Sources also say that the field for Howard's free agency has widened considerably… Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, San Antonio, LA and Brooklyn
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) June 13, 2013
While I am certain that almost all 30 teams in the NBA would love to sign Dwight Howard, and would do anything reasonably speaking to sign him this off-season, it is not realistic that the mass majority of these teams can acquire him for a multitude of reasons.
Some of those reason are:
1. Dwight Howard only wants to play for a very select number of teams.
2. Most NBA teams do not have the cap space to sign him outright.
3. Some teams are so far over the salary cap that they are penalized by not being able to receive a player that has to be signed and then traded. Dwight Howard is one of those players that has to be signed, then traded to a team that doesn’t have the cap space to sign him outright.
The Brooklyn Nets currently have 84.5 million dollars committed to salary for the 2013-2014 season (85.5 million if CJ Watson picks up his player option), so they are one of those teams that can not receive a player that has to be signed and traded.
The magic number for the Nets is roughly 74 to 76 million. That is where their team salary must be AFTER a Dwight Howard proposed trade in order to be below the “apron” which is 4 million above the luxury tax threshold. The exact salary cap and luxury tax numbers will be determined sometime this July by the NBA.
For the Nets to even be able to seriously consider a sign and trade for Howard, they’d have to start dumping some contracts without receiving salary in return. In order for this to be accomplished, the Nets would have to find teams with enough cap space to absorb their contracts; therefore, not having to send a matching contract back to the Nets.
To illustrate this point, the Nets would have to find takers for Kris Humpries’ 12 million dollar contract and Mirza Teletovic’ 3.2 million dollar contract.
The Nets cant acquire new salary so they have to trade away their 1st round pick of this year’s draft which shouldn’t be a problem finding takers.
The Nets will have to renounce what ever exceptions they have, such as their 3 million dollar mini mid level.
Using this example, the Nets are now under the “apron” and can start putting together a trade package that will both match the 20.5 million dollar salary of Howard’s new max contract and be attractive to the Lakers.
Remember, the Nets have to be under the “apron” after the trade for Dwight so they have to match the trade dollar for dollar. That means that the Lakers would have to take back 20 million dollars in salary with a combination of players like Brook Lopez (14 million), Gerald Wallace (10.1 million),Marshon Brooks(1.27 million), Reggie Evens (1.69 million) and CJ Watson (1.03 million).
None of the Nets’ players that would be offered to the Lakers in trade are attractive enough to warrant a trade of Dwight Howard or a better option than just letting Howard walk and using his salary to spend on potential free agents after this coming season.
The Brooklyn Nets are as much potential suitors of Dwight Howard as I am of Kate Upton. The Nets have as much chance of landing Howard as I do of finding a fully functioning 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 time machine on Craigslist, then traveling back in time to July 17th, 1996, and this time selecting the movie Multiplicity over Kazaam, undoing one of the worse decisions of my life.
Now that this hoopla of Howard to the Nets is settled, let’s keep our focus on realistic landing spots of Howard, which are Houston, Atlanta and possibly Dallas; these teams all pose a serious threat to the Lakers because they don’t need help from the Lakers or any other team to land Howard. All they need is to peak Howard’s interest and his signature on the dotted line come July 10th.
You can reach me at the my Twitter handle, @fullcourtfern, to discuss this article, anything Lakers or NBA related, or if you want to invite me to go grab a beer somewhere in L.A. You’re paying of course.
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