A league source, however, emphatically told Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com that the report isn't true.
Howard is averaging 17.1 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks for the Los Angeles Lakers, who are struggling at 17-24.
According to RealGM, the Nets believe Howard still wants to play for Brooklyn. The website, again citing sources, said Nets GM Billy King has quietly looked for a third trading partner and had planned to contact Minnesota about a deal that would send Howard to Brooklyn, Brook Lopez to the Timberwolves and Kevin Love to the Lakers, but Love's broken hand halted any potential talks.
The report added that acquiring Howard wouldn't be as big a priority for King as it has been in the past.
For as much as the Nets seem to want Howard, it appears Howard is equally as receptive. In July, when he was still with Orlando, Howard told Yahoo! Sports there was only one team he wished to be traded to; Magic general manager Rob Hennigan confirmed that team was Brooklyn. In December 2011, Howard asked Orlando to trade him to the Nets, according to ESPN.com.
Lopez, whom the Nets would almost certainly have to move in any deal for Howard, is building a case for his first All-Star selection. He's averaging 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks.
ESPNNewYork.com's Ian O'Connor reported less than a week ago that the Nets aren't as eager to chase after Howard.
"It's not as cut-and-dried as it was last year," one NBA official familiar with the thinking of Nets management told O'Connor, "when the feeling was go ahead and pretty much gut the team for Dwight, give up a bunch of draft picks and players and take back bad contracts. That feeling isn't there anymore."