Nets To Get Teletovic For $3 Million; Leaving Door Open For Howard Deal

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

Forget what has been written about the Nets having a hard cap, keeping them from being able to acquire Dwight Howard in a sign-and-trade. That was based on reports that Mirza Teletovic had reached an agreement for the full mid-level exception or $5 million.

He didn't.

Several reporters are tweeting/writing that Teletovic may sign instead for the tax-payer (mini) mid-level, with a starting salary of $3.09 million. That would allow the Nets to trade for Howard and go over the luxury tax line. It would alos make it easier, if a Howard deal fell though, to deal for Ersan Ilyasova in a sign-and-trade involving Kris Humphries

"Am told that resolution on Teletovic contract, with him accepting lesser number, is 'likely,'" Howard Beck tweeted Wednesday.

"With this constraint aside, a potential Howard trade wouldn't be the only benefit," John Hollinger writes. "The Nets wouldn't be constrained in what they can offer free agents Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez, so New Jersey would then be a heavy favorite to keep both and, in Howard's absence, send out a potent starting five of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Humphries and Lopez."

It also translates into something else. The Nets are not being stingy. The hard cap is $74.2 million, $4.2 million above the luxury tax threshold. This means Mikhail Prokhorov is willing to go higher.

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