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Dwight Howard Rumors: Does Lopez Injury Impact Potential Deal?

As soon as New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez went down Sunday with a sprained ankle that will sideline him for three weeks, the question became obvious. With Lopez being the prime bait, how does that impact the Nets ability to make a trade for Orlando Magic superstar center Dwight Howard before the March 15 NBA Trade Deadline? According to at least one report, Lopez' injury should not impact a potential deal.

Pro Basketball Talk writes that "a standard sprain is not going to scare a team off" and still considers the Nets the front runner. If, that is, the Magic actually decide to deal Howard before the deadline and not roll the dice on trying to keep him -- and potentially losing him without getting anything in return.

The Magic say that six to eight teams are still in contact with them about Howard.

The Nets, of course, are hoping to add Howard to a lineup that includes star point guard Deron Williams.