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Magic Reluctant to Deal with Nets

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February 24, 2012; Orlando FL, USA;  Eastern Conference center Dwight Howard (12) of the Orlando Magic during the East all-stars press conference at the Hilton Orlando. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
February 24, 2012; Orlando FL, USA; Eastern Conference center Dwight Howard (12) of the Orlando Magic during the East all-stars press conference at the Hilton Orlando. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

David Aldridge reports that the Magic front office is reluctant to deal with the Nets, that in fact they have turned down offers for Dwight Howard. Aldridge writes:

Despite Magic All-NBA center Dwight Howard’s desire to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets, there is currently nothing on the table from Brooklyn that interests Orlando, and there’s little likelihood of a deal between the teams, according to a league source involved in the discussions.

So, Aldridge writes, the Nets are "going forward with their plans to rebuild their team without Howard," trading for Joe Johnson and hopefully concluding deals with Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Gerald Green.

Similarly, Chris Mannix tweeted, "Nets were baffled that Orlando GM Rob Henningan wasn't interested in dealing DH ... Nets wanted to keep Williams and Gerald Green but they would have traded anyone else and taken a bad contract off Orlando's books."

Meanwhile the number of teams who will want to deal for Howard dropped Monday, when the Warriors indicated that they were no longer interested. That leaves the Lakers, Rockets and possibly Clippers. But with a commitment from Howard to re-sign any place other than Brooklyn, they are unlikely to give the Magic top-flight talent.

With the acquisition of Johnson, the Nets won't have the cap space to sign Howard as a free agent in July, but assuming the Nets sign Lopez, they will have an asset to deal in a sign and trade come December.