With "Work To Be Done", Nets, Magic Move Forward on Trade Scenarios

Feb 22, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Nets fanse prior to game against the Orlando Magic holding up pictures of New Jersey Nets guard MarShon Brooks (left) and point guard Deron Williams (center) and Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (right) at the Prudential Center. Orlando Magic defeat the New Jersey Nets 108-91. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

In a series of overnight reports, tweets and Sulia posts, writers covering the shifting sands of the Dwight Howard trade talks report that while progress had been made Sunday, no trade is imminent and there remains much work to be done. There was even one report that the Rockets remain in the picture.

Although there was still continuity in the reports, there remained some confusion and indeed contradiction. With several writers pointing to Cleveland as the third party in the talks, the team willing to take on Kris Humphries in a crucial sign-and-trade, Adrian Wojnarowski and Peter Vecsey report that another team could enter the picture to replace the Cavaliers.

Woj suggested, "Nets are finding traction beyond third-team involvement of Cleveland to find a landing spot for Kris Humphries." Similarly, Vecsey tweeted, "Cleveland is being reported as an outpost for [Humphries]. That's not definite. Another team showing interest in him that would allow [Orlando] to get more." Indeed, Ken Berger added that "as of early Monday, no negotiations had taken place between Cleveland and Humphries' representatives." According to Alex Kennedy, the other team could be the 76ers.

Bottom line, all agreed was there's "still work to do," in Woj's words. "Chances of a deal coming together rapidly were remote," wrote Berger. Vecsey also noted, "Contrary to some reports, Nets do not have deal in place for [Howard]. Much maneuvering on tap, I'm informed. First 10 scenarios unacceptable," an apparent reference to the Magic rejecting the Nets first ten proposals." He also reported, Houston is "still lurking." Or as Sam Amick wrote shortly before 3 a.m., "Source with knowledge of the talks says 'Talks have improved, but deal isn't done'."

There was even some talk of Brook Lopez being sent to a another team for picks that would then be shuttled to Orlando. In any event, the price of Lopez's cooperation appears to be a max contract, starting at $14.5 million.

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