Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
Why would Dwight Howard's father be surprised if Dwight wound up in Brooklyn? Could Ben Gordon be a piece in a larger deal?
So, lets take a look at the latest, 11 days before David Stern shuts the annual player bazaar.
Dwight Howard's father tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he'd be surprised if Dwight wound up in Brooklyn this summer. Jeff Schulz of AJC spoke with Howard Sr. about his son's problems in Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant's comments, etc. then at the end, talked about the future.
What happens after the season? Howard’s father still thinks the center will re-sign with the Lakers. When asked about Brooklyn, he said, "Oh, I doubt it. That would surprise me."
We'd be surprised too.The Nets don't have and won't have under any reasonable circumstance the cap space or the sign-and-trade ability to acquire him. But we wonder why Howard Sr. thought that. Latest we hear is that Howard still prefers Brooklyn.
In late night tweets Friday, both Peter Vecsey and Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer hint that Ben Gordon could be a piece in a larger (multi-team?) deal, with Bonnell suggesting that the Nets' ultimate target could be Josh Smith. And a local radio host in Tampa thinks Brooklyn is likely landing spot for Smith.
Vecsey tweeted, "As I tweeted yesterday or day b4 there has been conversation but I'm unsure, should deal go down, whether BK keeps Gordon." Later in a WFAN interview with Steve Somers, Vecsey said he believed the Nets ultimate target is a power forward, whose identity he knows but declined to reveal.
Bonnell was more specific, tweeting: "If the Nets are in the mix to trade for Josh Smith, then dealing Kris Humphries for Ben Gordon would make great sense." He later added inexplicably, "If you have Smith, it's pointless to pay Humphries $12m a season. At least Gordon serves some other role on a contender." A Florida sportscaster, Max Luckan, also tweeted, "The Brooklyn Nets appear to be the frontrunners to land Josh Smith in a deal, a league source said."
Luckan updated his comments Sunday with a sulia tweet.
"Brooklyn Nets' interest in Josh Smith is legitimate. It's safe to assume, at this point, that Smith would enjoy the idea of playing in Brooklyn with Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. However, the question remains: who would the Nets deal to Atlanta? Kris Humphries, who could still end up in Charlotte, is one option, and a league source said that the Hawks are interested in Humphries. Still, nothing remains imminent, but many see the Nets as the most likely landing spot for Smith."
The Nets may have interest in Smith but there are problems with Bonnell's scenario. Gordon couldn't be flipped unless it was in a straight one-on-one deal and there's no (reasonable) way we can think of that the Nets could acquire Howard and Smith. Hump's contract can only be used one time. We don't see the Hawks being interested in any of the big contracts like Gerald Wallace's. They're clearing space, not adding to it.. The Nets aren't giving up Brook Lopez, either. And why would Atlanta want another guard, particularly one with $13.2 million on the books next year (assuming he exercises his player option)?
Now could the Nets swap Gordon for Smith or Paul Millsap in a quick turnaround, throwing in picks and other non-player assets like cash or draft rights? It's easy for Smith. He makes $13.2 million, an easy swap. Millsap makes $8.6 million. The Jazz can, if they want, take back 150 percent of his contract since they are under the luxury tax threshold. But Gordon's contract would put them over the luxury tax threshold, meaning no deal. Too bad The Jazz might like Gordon. They have only two guards under contract next season: Alec Burks and Gordan Hayward.
The Nets would also need a promise that Smith (or Millsap} would be willing to sign an extension come July. Otherwise, no deal.
- Peter Vecsey Interview (Audio) - Steve Somers - WFAN
In his interview with WFAN's Steve Somers, Vecsey spoke about the Nets problems not having an an offensive threat at the forward position...
"Talking to people on the Nets, one of their biggest problems is that when Deron Williams or Joe Johnson drives, they get, when they penetrate, the defense is able to slough off and double them quickly and so what do they do. They cant make a play to Evans. It's tough to make a play to Humphries whose confidence is really down, you know, with all the trade talk. So they're playing four on five. A lot of the time its three on five because Wallace is not a great offensive player either.
"So they got to figure that out. I think they're trying to upgrade at power forward, maybe get a small forward who can open up the defense, to spread the defense out a little bit more than Wallace does, not that he would start ahead of Wallace.
"And you the stuff about them getting Ben Gordon? I've been tweeting about that..."
Somers noted that Gordon is shooting 41 percent on three's, suggesting that could help open things up.
"I've been tweeting about this for a week and it just hit ESPN yesterday or so. I don't believe they would get Ben Gordon to keep him. I believe the idea behind the talk, which actually has been going on for three weeks or so --and it's still there for the taking-- I think they would move Gordon with somebody, use Humphries to get Gordon, move him maybe with MarShon to get that power forward or that small forward that I'm talking about."
Somers asked if he knew who that other team is that might be involved.
"I do but I'm not going to say it. If I did want to say it, I would have tweeted it but it's not right, right now."