In an interview with Yahoo, Howard laid out his future plans, saying '"there's only one team" he will sign with long-term.
"There’s only one team on my list and if I don’t get traded there, I'll play the season out and explore my free agency after that," Howard said.
Orlando GM Rob Hennigan tweeted today that the team in question is indeed the Brooklyn Nets.
Rob Hennigan: During our conversation, Dwight did mention his preference is to be traded and that Brooklyn is where he'd like to go.— Orlando Magic (@Orlando_Magic) July 2, 2012
All of this could really help the Nets keep Deron Williams in town long-term. After signing Gerald Wallace on Sunday, Brooklyn might have a future if it can retain its free agent point guard and somehow acquire Howard.
The tricky part is whether or not Brooklyn has the pieces to get a deal done. Orlando might balk at any offer that isn't substantial and trade Howard to a team that's willing to take a rental, like the Houston Rockets or Golden State Warriors.
Of course, Howard says he'll be a Net one way or the other. This is good news for Brooklyn and perhaps the tipping point for Williams to re-sign.