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Clock Is Ticking on Howard Deal

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February 17, 2012; Orlando FL, USA; Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (12) looks up during the first half against the Milwaukee Bucks at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
February 17, 2012; Orlando FL, USA; Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (12) looks up during the first half against the Milwaukee Bucks at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

If the Nets are going add a fourth --and arguably the biggest-- star to their roster this free agency signing period, it will have to go down within the next 24 to 36 hours or the opportunity is lost, likely forever. That said, "league sources" tell Fred Kerber they believe that the pieces will ultimately fall into place.

League sources said the Nets and Magic have had "good dialogue" and made progress in formulating an ultra-complicated trade scenario to bring superstar center Dwight Howard to a revamped roster in Brooklyn. Sources maintain there will be a resolution by tomorrow.

Or as Howard Beck of the Times wrote, "there was a sense of momentum Monday and a belief a deal could be completed not long after the signings moratorium ends at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.."

That's not to say hurdles don't remain. The Cavaliers and Clippers, who would play crucial roles in accepting Kris Humphries and Marshon Brooks in return for draft picks, are reportedly uncertain, but there are indications that the Bobcats and Timberwolves may step in if they drop out. Humphries wants a multi-year deal. The Cavs are resisting. Western conference teams are the most willing to step in, Kerber reports. "You’ve got teams lining up to give a draft pick to keep Howard away from the Lakers," one rival GM told him.

Other reports have both the Lakers and Rockets still lurking at the edge of trade talks, but Howard continues to demand a trade to Brooklyn, say sources, complicating their chances.