NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — The Dwight Howard trade saga seems to be over, at least for now. The Brooklyn Nets have moved on to their backup plan, reaching an agreement on a reported four-year deal with Brook Lopez.
Lopez, who was thought to be the central piece in any deal to acquire Howard, was limited to five games last season because of injuries, averaging 19.2 points. He had appeared in 82 games in each of his first two NBA seasons and has a 17.4-point career average.
Earlier Wednesday, Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said that trade talks for Howard with the Nets were “stationary,” but that discussions remained open with them and other teams.
Without giving specifics, Hennigan said that the current parameters of the Nets offer weren’t favorable to the Magic.
Another potential blockbuster involving Howard to the Nets fell apart Tuesday when the Cleveland Cavaliers, essential to providing draft picks coveted by Orlando, reportedly pulled out.
The Nets will have one of the best backcourts in the NBA with Deron Williams and the newly acquired Joe Johnson. The team officially re-signed Williams after the moratorium was lifted at 12:01 a.m. EDT Wednesday.
Even without Howard, Brooklyn coach Avery Johnson said he likes the look of his re-tooled team.
“Now it’s our time,” he told WFAN’s Marc Malusis and Kim Jones on Wednesday. “On paper, we’re one of top three or four teams in Eastern Conference. That’s a big big jump for us.”
Late Wednesday the Nets added another body to their front line by acquiring forward Reggie Evans from the Los Angeles Clippers in a sign-and-trade deal that gives L.A. the right to swap second-round draft picks with Brooklyn in 2016.
Evans averaged 1.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 13.8 minutes in 56 games last season.
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Nets fans, are you convinced Howard isn’t going to be Brooklyn-bound? Be heard in the comments below…