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Avery: Top Priority Is Signing Lopez; Howard Trade "Out of Our Control"


In what could be a signal that the Nets are moving on, or that trade talks have reached an impasse, Avery Johnson told reporters at summer league camp that the Nets top priority now is re-signing Brook Lopez. When asked about Dwight Howard trade rumors, the Nets coach said they are "out of our control."

Both Tim Bontemps and Stefan Bondy tweeted almost identical reports out of the camp, the last before the summer league entry heads to, of all places, Orlando later Sunday.

The Nets have been trying to work various deals for Howard, who has told Magic management that he wants to play in Brooklyn. Howard passed on a chance to join the Nets back in March when he signed his early termination option and chose to stay in Orlando. The Nets have feared that unless they either made the deal or moved on at some point, they risked their relationship with Lopez, who wants Brooklyn as much as Howard.