It's been a grind for all parties involved with the Dwight Howard situation AKA Dwightmare. From the player himself, the Orlando Magic and its front office, and the New Jersey Nets and their somewhat desperate fanbase. Except for the Nets, this D12 waiting game and almost palpable suffering is scooped on top of previous laments (and eventual joy in acquiring Deron Williams) after going through last season's Melodrama with Carmelo Anthony. Well, Nets fans, it seems some overdue respite and cheer will be on the way!
According to one of the more credible writers out there, Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski says that Dwight Howard is "determined" to join the Nets either by trade or during July's free agency period. Yes, let that sink in. Go ahead, take a breath and evaporate any pain. Dwight. Howard. Wants. Us.
For everything Dwight Howard has told the Orlando Magic management about bringing him a stronger supporting cast, about the possibility that he could still sign an extension, it has turned into a complete ruse – a misdirection play on his eventual signing with the Brooklyn-bound New Jersey Nets, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
To go even further...
From a business perspective, it made sense for Martins to hold onto Howard until the last possible moment. He still sells tickets, sponsorships and, yes, banks victories that will get the Magic into the playoffs even if Howard is traded by Thursday. Nevertheless, there’s no misunderstanding from Howard’s camp that they will eventually sign with the Nets at the July 1 start of free agency, sources said.
It seems that Howard also prefers to sign with the Nets during free agency, so that the organization doesn't have to gut its talent base in order to trade for Howard.
Said another official, who has been involved in deal talks with Orlando, New Jersey and the agents in the process: “Dwight is going to [expletive] them, and that will be especially true if he doesn’t even ask for the sign-and-trade on July 1, because he wants Brooklyn to keep assets.”
And the Nets seem to be of the same thinking.
If Orlando goes to New Jersey before the trade deadline searching for a multi-team deal, the Nets are confident enough they’ll sign Howard on July 1 that they could reject any proposal that forces them to give up too many assets.
However, it's kind of safe to say that any way the Nets can get Howard, trade or free agency, will be a huge relief for the Nets and its fanbase. Going into Brooklyn with D-Will and D12 is a perfect way to open up a new building and even more importantly, a new era.