Nets to Magic: Are You In or Out?

Feb 22, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (12) drives against New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez (11) during the second half at the Prudential Center. Orlando Magic defeat the New Jersey Nets 108-91. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

This is D-Day for the Nets, writes Ric Bucher. They believe that unless they make a deal with Orlando Wednesday, their flexibility in making a deal that would be attractive to the Magic begins to fade and fast.

The Nets are convinced the chance of making a deal for Howard will be undermined as teams sign free agents and eliminate their flexibility to be trade partners in providing the draft picks, salary-cap room and young talent the Magic are seeking for their disgruntled All-Star center.

Bucher says the key decision for the Nets will be whether they sign Brook Lopez to a max, five year $75 million contract for themselves or a four year $58 million contract for a sign and trade. They and Lopez want that decision done Wednesday. So after getting Deron Williams signature Tuesday, Billy King flew to Los Angeles for meetings with Lopez and his agent, Arn Tellem.

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