If Dwight Howard Trade Fails This Week, Nets Will Shift to Contingency Plan

If the Dwight Howard trade fails to go ahead this week, the New Jersey Nets won’t be waiting around. That’s according to an anonymous tipster who told NJ.com, “It won’t go past this week,” adding that the Nets “have a Plan A, B, C and D.”

That doesn’t mean the Nets won’t return for Orlando’s Howard at a later date. A fresh attempt to bring Howard in may take place during the season – the trade deadline is, after all, March 15.

For now, however, the club is getting impatient. While the Nets mole didn’t expand on contingency plans, a free agent center seems most likely – Kris Humphries would be one candidate, as would former Denver Nugget Nenê.

Resorting to such a move would be a gamble, mind. The Nets are currently $16 million beenath the salary cap, but this margin would all but disappear if Nenê signed the four-year, $64 million deal the Nets have reportedly offered him. They are also seeking a small forward, and that would push them to the very edge of the salary cap, ruling out a move for Howard altogether.

Meanwhile, Magic are keen as ever to hold on to Howard. Orlando CEO Alex Martins said he and the All-Star center had talked this morning, with the director confident Howard will be convinced Orlando can build a championship team. Watch this space.

Nets head coach Avery Johnson was asked by NJ.com if he thinks his team is ready for a preseason game:

“You know, I think we’re going to be as ready as we can be. It’s not the ideal situation, but … our guys are in pretty good shape. I don’t know if we’re going to know exactly what we’re doing, but then, fortunately for us, we have Brook (Lopez) and Deron (Williams) and (Johan) Petro and (Jordan) Farmar and (Sundiata) Gaines and Damion James – guys that, if we had to put all of those guys out on the floor, they would have an idea of what we’re doing, because they have some continuity from last year.”

Do you think the Nets should move on from Howard, or hold out longer for the center?