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Gaines A Secret Weapon in D12 Deal?

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Feb 22, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA;  New Jersey Nets guard Sundiata Gaines (1) drives to the basket against the Orlando Magic at the Prudential Center. The Magic won 108-91. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Feb 22, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Nets guard Sundiata Gaines (1) drives to the basket against the Orlando Magic at the Prudential Center. The Magic won 108-91. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

If the Nets are to ever trade for Dwight Howard, they'll have to give up Brook Lopez, MarShon Brooks and multiple picks, send Kris Humphries to a third team and take on contracts the Magic want to dump: Hedo Turkoglu and/or Jason Richardson.

How do they do it, considering all the salary cap restrictions and limited assets? Sign and trade their own free agents, that's how. Ken Berger in a piece on Houston's hopes for Howard describes what the Nets can use in a multiple S&T deal.

Brooklyn's ability to take on money ... is enhanced with sign-and-trade possibilities for Sundiata Gaines (up to $5 million), Armon Johnson (up to $1 million), Damion James (up to $1.3 million) and Shelden Williams (up to $1.3 million) ... That's a lot of flexibility.

Each of the players in question, along with Lopez and Humphries, would have to agree to a sign-and-tradel, adding to its complexity. But Berger also writes, "There has been no indication, however, from Howard or his agent, Dan Fegan, that the All-Star center is willing to relax his insistence on signing a long-term deal only with the Nets if traded."

Meanwhile, Humphries, speaking at basketball camp in Minnesota, seemed to signal he may not be headed to Brooklyn. ""I think it's going to be great for the guys who will be back in Brooklyn," Humphries said."I'm preparing for whatever move I end up making."