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Howard may not get his choice

Dwight Howard wants to play for the Nets but they might not be able to pay up.

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Dwight Howard wants to play for the Nets but they might not be able to pay up.

The Nets made a major move Monday, and it doesn't involve Dwight Howard.

In fact, it means the Nets likely are out of the Howard sweepstakes.

On the same day that Howard, the Magic's All-Star center, said he would only sign a long-term deal if he were traded to the Nets, multiple media outlets reported that the Nets acquired shooting guard Joe Johnson — and his whopping contract, with four years and more than $90 million left — from the Hawks.

That would mean the Nets, who are moving from New Jersey to a new arena in Brooklyn, would be unlikely to have enough money left to sign Howard, whose deal with Orlando expires next summer.

According to reports the Nets will send Anthony Morrow, Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Jordan Williams, DeShawn Stevenson and a 2013 first-round pick to the Hawks. Stevenson is a free agent, so he'll go to Atlanta in a sign-and-trade.

The deal was agreed upon in principle Monday and can't be official until the NBA moratorium is lifted July 11. The Nets are also trying to retain guard Deron Williams.

New Orlando general manager Rob Hennigan said Monday that Howard asked for a trade last week. But Hennigan said he had not committed to honoring Howard's demand to go to the Nets.

Monday, Howard told Yahoo Sports that he won't sign long-term with another team if the Magic trades him somewhere other than Brooklyn.

"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," he said before the Johnson deal was announced.

The Hawks also agreed to deal forward Marvin Williams to the Jazz for point guard Devin Harris, according to Utah CEO Greg Miller.

TOP PICK SPRAINS ANKLE: Anthony Davis, chosen No. 1 overall in last week's draft, has a left ankle sprain that is likely to keep him out of consideration for the Olympics, NBC Sports Network and Yahoo Sports reported. Davis hurt his ankle Saturday while training, and Hornets spokesman Harold Kaufman said the club considers Davis day to day. USA Basketball is scheduled to announce its 12-man Olympic roster on Saturday.

NUGGETS: The Denver Post reported that point guard Andre Miller agreed to a three-year extension.

OLYMPICS: London-born Bulls star Ben Gordon told Great Britain coach Chris Spice that he won't play in this summer's London Games.

Howard may not get his choice 07/02/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 1:18am]

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