NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Deron Williams and Dwight Howard talked about being NBA teammates four years ago during the Olympics. Now Williams knows there’s speculation that it could happen soon.
He’s aware of reports that Orlando and Brooklyn are trying to arrange a complicated trade — possibly involving two other teams — but he’s not paying too much attention to that.
“There’s been a lot of rumors over the last year as far as he’s concerned, so early on I concerned myself with it, but lately just let it play out and whatever happens, happens,” Williams said Monday at training camp for the latest Olympic team. “I think we’ll have a good team without him, I think we’d have an even better team with him.”
Howard has asked the Magic to trade him, with the Nets his preferred destination. That goes all the way back to last offseason, and Williams knows it’s difficult not only for Howard, but for teammate Brook Lopez, whose name has been linked to all the trade talk.
There were multiple reports on Monday morning that the Nets and Magic were talking with the Clippers and Cavaliers about a deal that would ultimately send Howard to Brooklyn.
However, league sources told CBSSports.com on Tuesday that the Cavaliers have dropped out of consideration as potential trading partners with the Nets and Magic.
The Cavs were set to receive Kris Humphries in a sign-and-trade, Sundiata Gaines, a first-round pick and $3 million from Brooklyn, CBSSports.com reported. Cleveland also would have gotten Quentin Richardson from Orlando.
A source told the New York Daily News that the deal was “not close.” But the New York Post reported that there’s been “good dialogue” between the teams, and a resolution is expected by Wednesday.
With Cleveland now out of the picture, there could be other teams willing to facilitate the trade if the Clippers don’t pan out. However, the Bobcats are not one of those teams, league sources confirmed to CBSSports.com
“You’ve got teams lining up to give a draft pick to keep Howard away from the Lakers,” an NBA general manager told the Post.
But watch out for the Houston Rockets.
NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted late on Monday, “The Rockets refuse to give up on the Dwight Howard derby, gathering more assets to try to entice the Orlando Magic to engage in talks.”
The Nets have already had a good July, acquiring All-Star guard Joe Johnson from Atlanta and getting Williams to commit to a five-year, $98 million extension, rather than join the Dallas Mavericks. Williams can finally sign the deal late Tuesday night and will be able to fully participate in the U.S. Olympic team’s practices Wednesday after sitting out the contact portions for now.
Getting Howard, whom Williams said there is no player like in the NBA, would make them even stronger as they open their first season in Brooklyn.
“I think we’ll be good, I think we’ll one of the top teams in the East for sure, top teams in the NBA,” Williams said, “but it just depends on how everybody gels and comes together as a team.”
Williams said he hasn’t talked to Howard for a couple of weeks, but knows the situation has been trying for him and hopes to see a resolution soon.
“For him, because I’m friends with him, so I know how tough it’s been on him,” Williams said. “So yeah, you want to see it end one way or another just so he can be happy and move on.”
Is this the week that the Nets finally land Howard? Be heard in the comments below!
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