NBA

Report: Nets to make offer for Howard

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The New Jersey Nets see the cross-town rival Knicks holding Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire and are hoping to raise the stakes with Deron Williams and Dwight Howard.

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As they prepare for their long-awaited move to Brooklyn next year, the Nets are set to offer a trade package which includes center Brook Lopez and two future first-round picks to Orlando for Howard before he becomes a free agent in 2012, according to ESPN.

The superstar center's presence would be another lifeline for a franchise that has won just 36 games over the last two years. The Nets believe such a blockbuster acquisition would lead to their All-Star point guard Williams signing a long-term deal instead of opting out of his contract next summer.

Williams can get five years and $100 million from the Nets, while other teams would be able to offer $70 million over four years on the open market.

The report said the Nets, to make the deal work, would slap their amnesty clause on forward Travis Outlaw and would take back Hedo Turkoglu, who has three years and $35 million remaining on his deal with the Magic.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, NBA teams are expected to have a one-time chance to remove one contract from their books. Outlaw is a logical candidate after averaging just nine points per game last season on the first year of a five-year, $35 million deal.

If the Nets were able to acquire Howard before his opt-out decision, they could only extend his deal for one year, according to the rules of the new labor deal. Like Williams, Howard can become a free agent after this season and it has been widely believed Howard's preferred destinations are the Lakers and Knicks.

For a deal to eventually happen, the Magic would have to be convinced that Howard has no intention of re-signing with the team.

Tagged: Nets, Knicks, Magic, Dwight Howard, Deron Williams

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