Magic GM: Howard Talks With Nets ‘Stationary’
By KYLE HIGHTOWER
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said Wednesday that trade talks involving Dwight Howard with the Brooklyn Nets are “stationary,” but that discussions remain open with them and other teams.
Without giving specifics, Hennigan said that the current parameters of the Nets offer – believed to be multi-team sign-and-trade in which Orlando receives Brooklyn center Brook Lopez and draft picks – wasn’t favorable to the Magic.
“We’ve had discussions with Brooklyn, we’ve had discussions with a host of different teams about a host of different issues. And the answer is, yes we’re still talking to them,” Hennigan said. “We’re still looking to do whatever it is that puts us in the best position from a sustainability standpoint, (and) from a strategic standpoint.
“…Currently as they stand I think the parameters that we’ve talked about are a little bit in a stationary position. And currently as it’s constructed I’m not sure there’s really anything to discuss.”
Hennigan said he also continues to speak with both Howard and his representatives and that he and Orlando officials will continue to keep dialogues open to work out a deal that is in the best interest of the Magic. Howard recently reissued a trade request and identified Brooklyn as his desired destination.
He is currently under contract with the Magic through next season after giving up a clause in his contract that would have allowed him to be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Asked it was fair to describe discussions had stalled in lieu of focusing on a head coaching search, Hennigan said that wasn’t accurate.
“What’s fair to say is that we’re going to continue to do something if that something is in the best interest of the organization,” Hennigan said.
In the reported framework of the proposed Nets deal, Lopez would be the key compensation the Magic want to help lessen the blow of losing a probable future Hall of Fame center.
But if Lopez, who is a restricted free agent, were to sign a deal in which the Nets didn’t match an offer sheet with another team, the Nets would not be permitted under the current collective bargaining agreement to trade him until Jan. 15.
That would effectively disrupt any potential deal with the Magic, who are on the record saying they’d like resolution of Howard’s status before next season begins.
In regards to what exactly the Magic are looking for to secure a deal for Howard, Hennigan said it was “fluid” with “no concrete parameters.”
“You can’t always get everything you ask for,” he said. “But we’re looking for a mixture of components.”
Hennigan also didn’t rule out the possibility of Howard returning to the Magic next season, though he wouldn’t elaborate on any of the recent discussions he’s had with the center. He said they two spoke earlier on Wednesday.
In regards to the Magic’s ongoing coaching search, Hennigan said some of the candidates have been interviewed, but no finalists have been named.
He said that the process to hire a coach will continue, regardless of Howard’s situation being resolved or not.
“If I get some gray hairs because of it, so be it,” Hennigan said.
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