Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Rumors: Brooklyn Nets, Dwight Howard trade still a possibility?

Dwight Howard made it very clear last summer which team he wanted to play for this season. It wasn’t the Los Angeles Lakers where he is now but the Brooklyn Nets.

A deal could not be made between the Orlando Magic and Nets at that time and all hope of Howard going to Brooklyn faded. In stepped the Lakers and we all know that hasn’t worked out too well this season.

According to Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM, the Nets are preparing to pursue Howard in a trade again.

According to sources, King was planning to contact the Minnesota Timberwolves in order to gauge their interest in a three-team trade that would send Kevin Love to the Lakers, Brook Lopez to the Timberwolves and Dwight Howard to the Nets. Other small pieces would need to be included, but the proposed trade was thought to be intriguing enough to start conversations in the Lakers front office that would force them to deal with Howard earlier than planned.

That idea, however, was shelved when Love was sidelined 8-10 weeks with a broken hand. The Nets believed the Lakers would be interested in Love, but not an injured Love, even if they’re facing missing the playoffs, according to sources.

King will still look around for an attractive piece for the Lakers, but won’t make getting Howard as big a priority as last season, according to sources. But he will continue to watch the Lakers and explore intriguing trade options, sources said.

The hypothetical 3-team trade with Minnesota seems pretty unlikely considering the Timberwolves would be giving up Kevin Love and only receiving Brook Lopez in return.

The Lakers are definitely very likely to trade someone before the deadline this season whether that be Howard or Pau Gasol. At 17-24 on the year, playoffs are extremely unlikely and the current makeup of the Lakers is clearly not working.

Gasol has been benched by Mike D’Antoni who claims the Lakers work better on both ends of the floor with a smaller lineup. He is essentially being wasted on the bench playing less than 30 minutes per game which makes him an ideal candidate to be traded.

There have been rumors linking possible Gasol trades with the Atlanta Hawks for Josh Smith, a move that could work for both teams. The Lakers are discussing trade possibilities involving Gasol but have said they do not want to take on a long-term contract in exchange for him because they want to have their books cleared in 2014 so they can chase after a big name free agent.

But maybe trading Howard would make more sense for the Lakers. The dynamic between Howard and Kobe Bryant has been awkward at best with Kobe most recently coming out and talking about how much he has tried to help Dwight. Kobe also doesn’t like the new situation of Gasol coming off the bench.

Howard doesn’t like the current set up saying that the Lakers need to play more inside-out on offense and that he needs more touches.

The only thing for certain right now is that the Lakers are a mess. The playoffs aren’t happening this season unless something drastically changes. Trading Howard or Gsaol would be drastic and at this time, probably a good move for the Lakers no matter what they get in return.

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Tags: Brooklyn Nets Dwight Howard Los Angeles Lakers Pau Gasol

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