Since the Nets got Deron Williams, they’ve chased Dwight Howard. And as I’ve maintained all along, the rumors would not die for good until Howard signed someplace longterm. Sure enough, new articles are out this week about the Nets chasing Howard, and Billy King gets asked about Howard everytime he’s on the radio. But here is why getting Howard is next to impossible.
First, the Lakers would have to concede he is not returning, and attempt to deal him to the Nets, which in itself improbable. But even assuming that happened, there then comes the ridiculous amount of cap maneuvering necessary to get the deal done.
II Salary Cap Issues With Bringing in Howard
First, the Nets owe $84.5 million to next year’s roster for 10 players, putting them over next season’s presumed $76 million apron. To sign and trade for Howard, the Nets would have to wind up under $76 million in salary after the deal, and would be hard capped and required to stay under $76 million for the season despite adding Howard’s $20,513,178 salary.
The Lakers may acquire in the deal 125% of Howard’s salary plus $100,000. Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries combine for $26,693,906, meaning the Lakers can make the math work by dealing out $21,355,124.80: Howard at $20,513,178 with a signed and traded Darius Johnson-Odom at $841,946.80
Such a deal places the Nets at $79,106,336.80 in salary, for 10 players, with Williams, Johnson, Wallace, Howard, and Johnson-Odom making $71,393,857.80 of that money; and Mirza Teletovic, Reggie Evans, MarShon Brooks, Toko Shengelia, and Tyshawn Taylor making $7,712,479 of that money. To fill a minimum roster of 13 guys the cheapest way possible, the Nets could add 3 second round picks, or players of minimum salaries of $490,180 to this group (dealing away their first round pick) to get to $80,576,876.80 with 13 players after the Howard deal. So the Nets would need to cut $4,576,876.80 from their roster, through deals of Teletovic, Evans, Brooks, Shengelia, and Taylor, in a deal done simultaneously with the Howard deal, in order to make the deal work. Those players only combine to make $7,712,479, making a Howard deal something that is possible, but extremely unlikely.