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.
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