Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: How Howard to Brooklyn Nets Could Shake Up East

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 28:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic dunks against the Atlanta Hawks during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Earlier this morning, ESPN's Chris Broussard passed along tweets indicating that a possible Dwight Howard trade to the Brooklyn Nets was still in play.

According to Broussard, the rumored deal would send Brook Lopez, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and first-round picks in 2013, 2015 and 2017 to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Howard:

Sources: The Nets & Magic are discussing a trade that would send Dwight Howard to Brooklyn for Briik Lopez, Kris Humphies, Marshon Brooks...

— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 3, 2012

Correction: Nets' picks that would be traded to Orlando would be 2013, 2015 and 2017, source says....

— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 3, 2012

After reportedly trading for shooting guard Joe Johnson yesterday, Nets general manager Billy King has wasted no time trying to re-energize a franchise that has been one of the NBA's worst over the last five years. 

Along with the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics and New York Knicks, the Nets would further the concentration of star power along the Eastern seaboard.

An eventual deal could mean that franchises like Indiana, Atlanta and Orlando would fade out of the spotlight, leaving only teams with superstars left to be desired by the league's rapidly growing fanbase.

In a league where large media markets continue to dominate the landscape, the Nets have suddenly become one of the NBA's most compelling franchises.

A combination of Howard, Johnson and point guard Deron Williams in Brooklyn would make the Nets instant playoff contenders and could knock some fringe playoff teams like Philadelphia and Milwaukee out of the picture altogether.

While the Nets would lack serious depth if they completed a trade for Howard, they would still have recently signed small forward Gerald Wallace and breakout guard Gerald Green to make their starting lineup one of the Eastern Conference's most potent.