LAS VEGAS — Deron Williams and Dwight Howard talked about someday becoming NBA teammates in Orlando four years ago during the Olympics. Now Williams knows there's speculation that it could happen soon — but in Brooklyn instead.
Williams is aware of reports that Orlando and Brooklyn and trying to arrange a trade — possibly involving two other teams — but he's not paying too much attention to that.
"There's been a lot of rumors over the last year as far as he's concerned, so early on I concerned myself with it, but lately just let it play out and whatever happens, happens," Williams said Monday at training camp for the latest Olympic team. "I think we'll have a good team without him, I think we'd have an even better team with him."
Howard has asked the Magic to trade him, with the Nets his preferred destination. That goes all the way back to last offseason, and Williams knows it's difficult not only for Howard, but for teammate Brook Lopez, whose name has been linked to all the trade talk.
There were multiple reports Monday that the Nets and Magic were talking with the Clippers and Cavaliers about a deal that would ultimately send Howard to Brooklyn.
The Nets have already had a good July, acquiring All-Star guard Joe Johnson from Atlanta and getting Williams to commit to a five-year, $98 million extension, rather than join the Dallas Mavericks. Williams can finally sign the deal late tonight and will be able to fully participate in the U.S. Olympic team's practices Wednesday after sitting out the contact portions for now.
Getting Howard, whom Williams said there is no player like in the NBA, would make them even stronger as they open their first season in Brooklyn.
"I think we'll be good, I think we'll one of the top teams in the East for sure, top teams in the NBA," Williams said, "but it just depends on how everybody jells and comes together as a team."
Williams said he hasn't talked to Howard for a couple of weeks, but knows the situation has been trying for him and hopes to see a resolution soon.
"For him, because I'm friends with him, so I know how tough it's been on him," Williams said. "So yeah, you want to see it end one way or another just so he can be happy and move on."
NOVAK, CAMBY COMING BACK TO KNICKS: Steve Novak is returning to the New York Knicks with a four-year deal worth $15 million.
Novak's agent, Mark Bartelstein, said Monday the deal is a reward for a player who finally got his opportunity and took advantage of it. The Knicks claimed Novak after he was waived by San Antonio and he went on to lead the NBA in 3-point shooting at 47.2 percent.
Novak had played sparingly for four other teams in his first five seasons before enjoying a career year in New York. He began to get more playing time off the bench in February, about the time Jeremy Lin was taking over the offense, and his perimeter shooting quickly became a perfect complement to Lin's drives. Novak averaged 8.8 points in 54 games.
The deal can't be signed until Wednesday after next year's salary cap is set.
Marcus Camby is also returning to New York, while the Houston Rockets continue to reshape their roster.
The 38-year-old Camby agreed Monday to rejoin the Knicks in a deal that sends three players and two second-round draft picks to Houston, according to a person with direct knowledge of the move. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither team has announced the trade.
Yahoo Sports reported that Camby's deal was for three years and $13.2 million.
The Rockets will get guard Toney Douglas, centers Josh Harrelson and Jerome Jordan and second-round picks in 2014 and '15.
The 6-foot-11 Camby, meanwhile, will be back in New York where he played from 1998-2002.
Douglas played in 38 games last season, starting only nine, and averaged 6.2 points and 2.0 assists. The 6-10, 275-pound Harrelson was a second-round pick by New Orleans in 2011 and was traded to the Knicks. He appeared in 37 games and averaged 4.4 points and 3.9 rebounds. The 7-foot Jordan, a native of Jamaica, averaged 5 minutes in 21 games last season.
Though Camby has battled injuries during his NBA career, he remains a productive rebounder and shot blocker even after 16 seasons. He also drew interest from Miami and New Jersey but made his destination clear on Twitter, with a simple posting of "NY" on Monday afternoon.
Camby helped the Knicks make a surprising run to the 1999 NBA Finals in his first season in New York. The No. 2 overall pick in the 1996 draft and a native of nearby Connecticut became a fan favorite before the Knicks dealt him Denver in 2002. He should become a valuable backup at center to Tyson Chandler, last season's NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
He becomes the second nearly 40-something to join the Knicks this summer, with Jason Kidd agreeing to go to New York last week. The deals cannot become official until Wednesday.
HINRICH RETURNING TO BULLS: Veteran guard Kirk Hinrich has agreed to a deal to return to the Chicago Bulls.
A person with knowledge of the NBA confirmed the deal on condition of anonymity Monday because it has not been announced. Free agents can't sign new contracts until Wednesday. Hinrich's decision was first reported by the Chicago Tribune.
The 31-year-old Hinrich spent his first seven seasons with Chicago before he was traded to the Washington Wizards two years ago. He was later dealt to Atlanta, where he averaged 6.6 points in 48 games last season.
He will give the Bulls an experienced point guard while Derrick Rose recovers from knee surgery. Chicago also drafted Marquis Teague in the first round last month.
WADE HAS KNEE SURGERY: Dwyane Wade of the NBA champion Miami Heat had surgery Monday on his left knee, and is expected to need up to eight weeks to fully recover.
Wade can begin therapy immediately and the Heat said the All-Star guard is expected to be ready for the start of training camp. The procedure took just 20 minutes, and Wade wrote on his Twitter page Monday afternoon that he is "doing fine."
Heat team physician Harlan Selesnick performed the operation at Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables, just outside of Miami.
Wade was bothered by knee pain and swelling throughout the playoffs. He had fluid removed midway through Miami's second-round series with Indiana and needed treatment several times a week during Miami's run to the title.
He opted to have the knee surgery early in the offseason with hopes of being ready to begin the season on time. The surgery forced Wade to withdraw from consideration for the U.S. Olympic team.
Wade played in all 23 Heat playoff games despite the knee problems.