Will Yoder
Thursday March 15th, 2012

The New Jersey Nets would prefer to trade for Dwight Howard now rather than wait until he becomes a free agent after this season, according to ESPN.

While acquiring Howard as a free-agent would allow the Nets to keep major building blocks, such as Brook Lopez and MarShon Brooks, a trade would guarantee that the team would get their hands on the center. If Howard becomes a free-agent, the possibility remains that he could sign with another team.

Reports have indicated that the Nets are currently seeking a third party to sweeten their offer to Orlando to acquire the seven-footer. However, many believe that Orlando is trying to pin the Nets against the Lakers to drive up the asking price. Howard is currently averaging 21.2 points and 15.2 rebounds per game.  The Magic (28-15 )are third in the Eastern Conference behind Chicago and Miami.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.