Dwight-To-Nets Will Be Done-Or-Dead By Tomorrow
There are a few reasons for this. First of all, while the Nets' front office is going through absolute mayhem to try to obtain Howard, the rest of the league is picking up all the good role players on the market. The Nets likely set this ultimatum in part to make sure that they do not strike out on Howard and miss out on every decent role player on the open market.
One may say that Howard is too good to be given up on, but if the Nets feel the trade is unlikely they have to go in another direction. Keep in mind how crucial role players were to the Heat down the stretch last year; the finals could have been a completely different series without Shane Battier, Mike Miller, and Mario Chalmers.
Also, there are teams looking to sign restricted free agent Brook Lopez to an offer sheet, which would blow up the main piece that the Nets planned on sending to the Magic for Howard. The Portland Trail Blazers had signed restricted free agent Roy Hibbert to a max offer sheet, but the Pacers recently matched. The Blazers are reportedly still shopping for a center, and may offer Brook Lopez that max offer sheet very soon.
The Charlotte Bobcats, who have a miserable front court, have also reportedly told Lopez that they are willing to sign him to a max offer sheet.
The Houston Rockets also may make a play for Lopez, in part because they could use much more depth in the front court, but also in part because they are still players in the race for Howard and could sabotage Brooklyn's plans by doing so.
Finally, the Nets want to get Brook Lopez locked up should they not acquire Howard. The longer they put that off, the longer Lopez has to talk with other teams and receive interest and offer sheets. They are reportedly working on a max contract for him that they would likely offer very soon should the Howard talks finally die.
It's certainly hard to give up on such an elite player like Dwight Howard when just a few days ago he seemed so close to joining the team, but it seems the Nets are ready to pack it up and get on with their offseason.
Other frontrunners in the race for Howard's services are the Hawks, Rockets, and Lakers.