The Dwight Howard trade rumors continued on Tuesday, but the reported four-team deal that would send the Magic's franchise center to Brooklyn fell apart as the Cavaliers took themselves out of the discussion. Howard has repeatedly insisted that he wants to play for the Nets, and multiple reports have indicated that is the one organization with which he will sign a long-term extension.
But with yet another roadblock in the Nets-Magic talks forcing that deal to stall out, the Lakers and Rockets emerged late Monday as potential partners in the merry-go-round. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, this has intensified contract discussions between the Nets and their center Brook Lopez. The Yahoo! Sports reporter writes that both sides are progressing towards a max deal, which would almost certainly remove the Nets from the Howard derby:
Once Lopez signs the deal, he can't be traded until December.
Orlando has refocused its trade talks for Howard with the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets, and the Nets are starting to believe that Magic general manager Rob Hennigan simply wants to do a deal elsewhere, sources said. Clearly, the Nets are pushing hard on Lopez's deal to apply pressure to Orlando, but there's nothing left for them to offer Orlando that they haven't already made available to them.
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