The Nets will be prepared when they do. The creative mind of GM Billy King is already working, constructing, as he did in the pursuit of Carmelo Anthony a year ago, possible three- and four-team trade scenarios to pitch when Smith is ready to talk. An offer with Brook Lopez and draft picks is good, but since the Lakers have the potential to put All-Star center Andrew Bynum on the table, New Jersey knows it must add pieces to the pot.
But the Nets also know they are Howard’s top choice, with a new arena in the largest media market and the perfect co-star waiting for him next fall. Yes, the relationship between Howard and Deron Williams is strong. On the eve of Williams’ rematch with the Knicks’ Jeremy Lin, Howard texted Williams and told him to take it to him, to leave no doubt. Howard has told friends he would love the chance to play with Williams, a top-five point guard who would have no issue relinquishing the spotlight and allowing Howard to be the team’s alpha dog.
As first reported by John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com, the Magic held a team meeting after Thursday’s loss to the Hawks. Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel has the full story:
The Orlando Magic held a quick team meeting after Thursday night’s loss, and some voices were raised in frustration.
The yelling was audible outside the dressing-room door.
“We talked about everybody coming back together,” Magic forward Ryan Anderson said. “We got to keep each other accountable and make sure we play with great effort every night.”
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)