- Last Updated: 7:39 AM, July 9, 2012
- Posted: 12:39 AM, July 9, 2012
After months of being connected at the hip thanks to the never-ending Dwight Howard trade talks, it’s almost fitting the week-long Orlando Summer League kicks off today with a game between the Nets and Magic.
But as he prepared to leave for Orlando yesterday, Nets coach Avery Johnson said the Nets are focused on getting another center — restricted free agent Brook Lopez — under contract.
“Well, I think on our end there’s no resolution because we’re not in control,” he said of the ongoing trade talks with the Magic. “Right now we’re trying to get Brook Lopez re-signed, and get him back in a Nets uniform. We can’t control what other teams are doing, and when you’re talking about trading with another team, we have no power.
“Like every NBA team, you make proposals and presentations, but at the end of the day, we have no control. All we have control of right now is getting our guys re-signed, getting Brook Lopez re-signed ... that’s [Nets general manager] Billy [King’s] focus right now.”
Lopez has been at the center of the Howard trade talks from the beginning, as he would be the centerpiece of any package the Nets would send to Orlando to acquire the league’s most dominant big man. But Lopez has been steadfast in his hopes of remaining with the Nets — the only team he has played for since being drafted 10th overall in 2008 — for years to come.
The only player who has been with the team for more than three seasons, Lopez was also the lone player on hand when the franchise was officially unveiled as the Brooklyn Nets on April 30. His brother, Chris, told The Post last week Lopez wants to be part of the team when they debut in Brooklyn this fall.
But multiple reports surfaced yesterday that the Nets and Magic were again engaged in discussions to potentially bring Howard to Brooklyn after months of endless speculation and, in the case of Howard, incessant flip-flopping.
The package the Nets would be sending to Orlando remains essentially the same that it has for weeks, with the main pieces being a signed-and-traded Lopez and fellow free agent Kris Humphries, along with MarShon Brooks and multiple draft picks.
One of the issues the Magic has had with that package is that they aren’t interested in keeping Humphries, whose salary would be used to allow the Nets to take back one or more of Orlando’s onerous contracts Magic general manager Rob Hennigan inherited from the previous regime.
In addition to still pursuing Howard, the Nets have also been one of several teams that have registered interest in free agent center Marcus Camby. The Knicks, Heat and Clippers, among others, have expressed interest in the 38-year-old center, who would likely only be available in a sign-and-trade with the Rockets, with whom he finished last season after a midseason trade from Portland.Follow @NYPostsports