January 17, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) warms up before the game against the Miami Heat at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Rumors: Are the Nets taking another run at Dwight Howard?

For most of the season, it looked as if the New York Knicks were in a great position to finish with one of the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference. That still may happen, but in the next month, the Knicks could end up standing by while their top competition in the east improves a great deal.

The Miami Heat are currently linked to Los Angeles Lakers star Pau Gasol, but another trade rumor coming out of Los Angeles has the Brooklyn Nets possibly taking another run at acquiring Dwight Howard.

Jan 20, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) reacts to a technical foul called against him against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Lakers 108-103. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

With the Nets now hot on the heels of the Knicks, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see them try and make a big splash at the trade deadline in an attempt to make a lengthy playoff run.

According to Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com (Sulia link), Nets’ general manager Billy King has been quietly searching for a third team that could include an attractive piece that would help facilitate a trade between the Lakers and Nets.

Things have not worked out well for Howard in a Lakers’ uniform and there is no guarantee he re-signs in Lakerland. Despite Lakers’ owner Jim Buss claiming that they won’t be looking to move Howard, it doesn’t make  much sense to hold onto him  while the Lakers  are struggling, especially if there is  a chance that Howard leaves and the Lakers get nothing for him.

Rudolph reported that King was preparing an offer that would have included Brook Lopez going to the Timberwolves and Kevin Love heading to the Lakers, with a handful of smaller pieces also included in the deal. The Nets believed the Lakers would be intrigued by Love, but the plan suffered a blow when Love was sidelined for two months with a broken hand.

He also noted that King will continue to search for a third team that could facilitate a Howard trade, but won’t make landing the big man the priority that he did a year ago.

This is something that Knicks fans should keep an eye on.

Howard is not a good fit in Mike D’Antoni’s system and seeing the big man land in a team in the Atlantic Division could be a huge blow.

Brooklyn was always Howard’s first choice to begin with and you have to believe he still feels that way.

If the Knicks didn’t believe that the Nets were a serious threat to them in the Atlantic Division, they certainly would be a long-term threat if King could somehow pull a deal off to bring Howard to Brooklyn.

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Tags: Brooklyn Nets Dwight Howard Los Angeles Lakers Nba Trade Rumors New York Knicks

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