Broussard: Do it now, Dwight

“Melo” and “CP3” put Denver and New Orleans through much more uncertainty and made more of a mess than (LeBron) James ever did, yet both suffered only a fraction of the criticism. In fact, outside of Denver and New Orleans, their relocations were celebrated.

Howard shouldn’t worry. An exit from Orlando to a larger city probably won’t hurt his brand. That being the case, it’s time to end the charade. Howard needs to force a trade to the New Jersey Nets.

Virtually everyone knows Howard will not re-sign with Orlando next season. He wants Brooklyn/New Jersey, Dallas or Los Angeles, but mostly Brooklyn. Howard has the responsibility to walk into Orlando general manager Otis Smith’s office as soon as possible and tell Smith he wants to be traded to the Nets before the March 15 trade deadline. Indeed, Howard sort of “requested” a trade to the Nets during training camp in December, but because he doesn’t want to be seen as the bad guy, he left too much room for interpretation. This time, he shouldn’t leave any.

Chris Broussard, ESPN — Dwight Howard should force a trade to the New Jersey Nets

Firstly, I’d like to agree with Broussard, with a caveat; Dwight should make his intentions unequivocally clear in his next conversation with Otis Smith — if he’s unequivocally sure of his intentions. I am but an armchair psychologist, but I’m not necessarily sure he is.

One refreshing thing about 2012’s flavor-of-the-year trade saga is that, unlike 2011’s, we’re not inundated with trade talk every single day. The Nets offer has remained intact, Dwight Howard’s request to be traded to the Nets hasn’t changed, and all we do now is wait. Dwight Howard gets asked in multiple cities if he’d enjoy playing there, he plays the diplomat and says sure, and the bees keep buzzing. Meanwhile, Deron Williams and Anthony Morrow learn how to play with one another, MarShon Brooks dazzles before injury, and Shelden Williams becomes the latest Jason Collins redux (I mean that as a compliment, I swear).

That’s not to say that the trade is invisible; it looms over the franchise’s general, long-term approach. Just that unlike last year, the Nets aren’t 90% of the way there, then asked to include two extra draft picks, watching it fall apart, and rinsing, lathering, repeating. It’s not a day-to-day situation — though I’m sure Mr. King is making those calls.

Erstwhile, the Nets play winnable games tonight and Friday, and just signed Keith Bogans.