As you’ve heard, both on our site and others, Dwight Howard has reportedly requested a trade to the Nets on draft night, according to a source from Adrian Wojnarowski.
Maybe I should be happy. Maybe I should be ecstatic that once again, the best center in the game, arguably the second-best player in the game when healthy, and a near-perfect complement to Deron Williams, the one player on Brooklyn’s roster that the Nets truly care about, has once again reportedly shown serious interest in joining the team. Maybe I should be happy that the potential addition of Dwight Howard guarantees retaining the most important Williams, the hastily added Wallace, and immediately upgrades the franchise’s allure. Maybe Howard’s trade request really has stood since December. Maybe I should be happy that the Nets, for all the times they’ve swung with their eyes closed, may finally connect with something relevant.
Maybe I should be upset. Maybe I should be concerned that the Nets, anxious to enter Brooklyn with a splash and compete from day one, are once again backed into their self-designed corner, forced to assemble a competitive roster immediately. Maybe I should fear that Howard, who underwent season-ending back surgery this season, may never be the player the Nets trade for. Maybe the Nets have forgotten Troy Murphy and Mehmet Okur, two quick acquisitions that crashed and burned in New Jersey due to pre-existing back injuries. Maybe those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
Maybe Dwight Howard is different. Maybe his back is fine. Maybe the Nets will do their due diligence, and only trade for him if they’re sure he’ll perform. Maybe Brook Lopez, the longest-tenured Nets player, is a bigger risk.
Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m just tired of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Maybe I’m suspicious that Dwight Howard is not the conductor in this absurdist orchestra. Maybe my impatience is what separates me from Billy King, who’s had to handle two years of madness as his profession. Maybe he’s as tired of this as I am. Maybe Orlando’s tired of it, too.
Maybe all this is cold-calculated from Brooklyn’s side. Maybe the Gerald Wallace trade was the smartest thing King’s ever done, if it means acquiring Dwight Howard in some weird, circulatory way. Maybe all of this will get settled on draft night, and we won’t have another significant maybe to think about for the next four to six years. Maybe the Nets’ consistent commitment to maybe will finally pay off.
Maybe, maybe, maybe.
We’ve heard this song before. Dwight Howard requested a trade to the Nets through an anonymous source in December. Then reiterated it in January, then again near the trade deadline. “He’s going to f*** them,” one report said, referring to the Magic. He’s already gone, as far as reality’s concerned, and he’s going to burn the franchise to the ground, laughing as he waltzes out the door.
Then, as some reported, something changed. Then changed back. Then changed again. Dwight Howard was “given some bad advice.” He loves Orlando. Loves candy. Loves the franchise. Wants them to “roll the dice.” Waived his own opt-out clause in an attempt to feign loyalty, for reasons that are still unclear today.
Maybe Dwight Howard is fine. Maybe he’s not. Maybe he really has requested a trade yet again. Maybe it’s just another well-placed dart, fired with intent by those who stand to benefit from it. Maybe he really did have a change of heart at the trade deadline. Maybe that’s just what we’ve been told.
Maybe Dwight Howard will be a Brooklyn Net tomorrow. Maybe he’ll be an Orlando Magic(?) for life. But until tomorrow comes, until the papers are signed, until the uniform is donned, the Brooklyn Nets are still stuck on maybe.