Feb 11, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (12) dribbles the ball as Milwaukee Bucks forward Drew Gooden (0) and guard Brandon Jennings (3) defend during the fourth quarter at the Bradley Center. The Magic defeated the Bucks 99-94. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Trades and Free Agency: Dwight Howard to Brooklyn in 3-team trade?

Dwight Howard is as close as he’s ever been now to being traded to the Brooklyn Nets. The Orlando Magic and Nets are optimistic that including the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 3-team trade will help them pull off a Howard trade, according to RealGM.

The Cavaliers can help facilitate the trade by taking on Kris Humphries in a sign-and-trade as well as possibly MarShon Brooks. The Magic would receive Brook Lopez along with three first round draft picks.

The deal for Orlando does not seem much better than the ones rumored between them and the Nets earlier that the Magic were not interested in. However, it is rumored that this deal could be done by the end of the day today.

Brooklyn would suffer harsh luxury tax penalties over the next four seasons if they do get Howard. The penalties could amount to over $100 million in four years but they still seem determined to get Howard.

“You can talk about the new (luxury) tax all you want, but if the Lakers get Nash and the Nets get Howard, then what did the new CBA accomplish?” one GM told ESPN. “You have to realize part of long-term planning is making sure you don’t help create teams you can’t beat.”

The Nets are not limiting themselves to Cleveland as the third wheel in a Howard trade and are shopping Humphries around the rest of the league as well.

The Magic agreed to another trade yesterday sending last year’s Most Improved Player, Ryan Anderson, to New Orleans in a sign-and-trade for Gustavo Ayon. Anderson will receive a 4-year, $36 million deal.

Anderson benefited greatly from playing alongside Howard as a spot-up four getting a ton of open looks from three. We will see if he can still be effective in a different landscape without Howard.

The Hornets are happy to get a good rebounder and shooter to put alongside No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis for next season.

The Chicago Bulls also made moves yesterday bringing back Kirk Hinrich to a 2-year, $6 million deal. The Bulls now have to decide if they will match Houston’s 3-year, $25 million offer sheet for Omer Asik.

Derrick Rose may not be recovered from his torn ACL until well after next season has started for Chicago. The Bulls are likely parting ways with C.J. Watson so signing Hinrich here is a big move for them.

July 11 is the first day that free agents can officially sign. Teams will have three days to match offer sheets their restricted free agents signed elsewhere.

Jeremy Lin, Eric Gordon and Roy Hibbert are three of the biggest named restricted free agents that signed offer sheets with other teams. All three are expected to have those offers matched by their former teams.

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Tags: Andrew Bynum Brook Lopez Brooklyn Nets Chicago Bulls Cleveland Cavaliers Derrick Rose Dwight Howard Eric Gordon Kirk Hinrich Kris Humphries Los Angeles Lakers MarShon Brooks NBA Free Agency New Orleans Hornets Orlando Magic Ryan Anderson

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