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Dwight Howard's Back Surgery Could Help The New Jersey Nets Keep Deron Williams

Deron Williams and Dwight Howard still could join forces in Brooklyn as teammates with the Nets. Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Deron Williams and Dwight Howard still could join forces in Brooklyn as teammates with the Nets. Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

The way the New Jersey Nets final season in the Garden State has gone down, it's clear that the trade for Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard should have happened. After all, the Nets have been the most injury-riddled team in the entire league and Howard -- just over a month after nearly being traded to New Jersey -- will have back surgery on a herniated disk and miss the rest of season and likely the Olympics.

Knowing the Nets luck, it would have made perfect sense for them to ship a boatload of assets to the Magic for a guy who immediately would need a major operation.

But this development with Howard is more than just the potential of New Jersey/Brooklyn dodging a bullet. It very well could be the first step toward Deron Williams choosing to stay with the Nets.

Just because he is going under the knife -- some see it as confirmation Howard wasn't dogging it due to a clash with head coach Stan Van Gundy -- doesn't mean the relationship between the All Star and Magic management will heal the way his back will. That means there's every reason to believe Nets GM Billy King will be in constant contact with his counterpart in Orlando about rekindling their discussions about a trade of Howard.

Everyone knows getting Howard all but guarantees Williams will re-sign with the Nets, and this time around the price should be more palatable for King and owner Mikhail Prokhorov. No matter how amazing Howard has been throughout his career, his stock will never be lower than fresh off surgery on his spine.

Most teams are likely to not only lower their offers for Howard after the injury, but also wait until training camp to see if he is able to bounce back. The Nets could be willing to jump into a trade quicker than others because they have already dealt with a player recovering from herniated disc surgery. Center Brook Lopez underwent a similar surgery before New Jersey selected him with the 10th overall pick in the 2008 draft.

Just like the rest of the Dwighttmare we've all witnessed this year, no one knows exactly what will happen next, but it's hard to see this latest development as a negative for the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets.

Dwight Howard Injury: Out for Season (via sbnation)