Magic: Howard trade talks with Nets at stalemate

  • By Josh Robbins The Orlando Sentinel
  • Wednesday, July 11, 2012 7:20pm
  • SportsSports

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan indicated Wednesday afternoon that trade talks with the Brooklyn Nets about Dwight Howard have reached a stalemate because he believes the Nets haven’t made an offer worth taking.

“We’re still talking to the Nets,” Hennigan said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon at Amway Center. “And we’re still looking to do whatever it is that we feel puts us in the best position from a sustainability standpoint. We’ve had talks about a host of different things.

“Currently as they stand, I think the parameters of what we talked about are a little bit in a stationary position, and currently as it’s constructed, I’m not sure that there’s anything to really continue to discuss.”

Hennigan confirmed that once the Nets re-sign restricted free agent Brook Lopez, there’s almost no chance there can be a deal between the Nets and the Magic with Lopez as the centerpiece. reported that the Magic have told Howard that they are stopping talks with other teams until the team can hire a head coach. But Hennigan said the report is inaccurate, and he added that he has not whittled his list of coaching candidates to a list of finalists.

Hennigan said he wouldn’t rule out bringing Howard into training camp.

Howard, who has one year left on his Magic contract and has requested a trade to the Nets, has said that he will only sign long term with the Nets.

But Brooklyn sought a decision from Orlando about Howard on Wednesday.

ESPN reported that Nets officials entered the day with their minds made up on one issue: By the end of the day, they either were going to re-sign Lopez or were going to complete a sign-and-trade deal that sent Lopez to Orlando for Howard.

There was no in-between.

The Charlotte Bobcats and the Portland Trail Blazers reportedly were prepared to sign Lopez to an offer sheet.

Although the Nets can match any offer sheet that Lopez would sign, matching an offer sheet would prevent the Nets from dealing Lopez to the Magic via a sign-and-trade deal.

If the Nets sign Lopez to a deal in which they don’t match an offer sheet, the Nets would not be permitted under the current collective bargaining agreement to trade him until Jan. 15, NBA salary-cap expert Larry Coon confirmed to the Orlando Sentinel.

If the Nets have to match an offer sheet for Lopez, the Nets still would not be allowed to trade him during the next year without Lopez’s consent.

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