Getting Joe Johnson might not preclude the Nets from landing Dwight Howard after all.
The Nets are once again engaged in trade taks with the Magic, trying to acquire Howard to give them their own version of the Big Three, according to several reports. The proposed deal would send Howard to Nets for Brook Lopez and Kris Humpries -- both in sign and trades -- along with promising guard MarShon Brooks, and first-round picks in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
CBSSports.com reported the deal isn't imminent because Magic GM Rob Hennigan is trying to get the Lakers, Rockets, Hawks and Mavericks involved in heavy discussions as well.
Yahoo! reported that in order for the deal to move down the path to happening, a third team has to be included to take Humphries in a sign-and-trade.
Yesterday, the thought was the Nets were no longer going to be able to pursue Howard after agreeing to the framework of the deal that would send Johnson to Brooklyn in exchange for Anthony Morrow, Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Jordan Williams, DeShawn Stevenson and a 2013 first-round pick acquired from the Rockets.
Johnson's mega $126 million contract, which has four years and more than $90 million left on it, would eat up a lot of the Nets' cap space paired with a potential five-year, $100 million deal Deron Williams could receive. But the Nets could make it all work if they found another team.
If they can somehow re-sign Williams, trade for Howard -- whose preferred destination is Brooklyn -- to go along with Johnson, they'd immediately elevate themselves into the conversation regarding Eastern Conference contenders.