Jul 1, 2012, 3:48 PM EDT
Finally, Dwight Howard met with the new Orlando general manager, and his pitch to keep Howard in Orlando went about as well as that email you got from a Nigerian prince. Howard wants out. He wants to go to Brooklyn.
The Magic are shopping him now, and they have had contact with the Lakers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo and the NBC Sports Network.
Orlando officials are willing to discuss trades for Howard, and the Lakers have been one of the teams in touch with them over the weekend, sources said. The Brooklyn Nets and Houston Rockets have also talked to Magic officials, sources said.
While the Lakers have yet to make a direct offer, there’s no scenario where Orlando would move Howard to the Lakers without getting back Andrew Bynum, L.A.’s 24-year-old All-Star center. Pau Gasol wouldn’t fit the Magic’s desires to rebuild with young players and draft picks.
The Lakers were willing to move Bynum for Howard last season. Are they still? Howard might be about the only guy the Lakers would move Bynum for, primarily they have been shopping Pau Gasol around.
The other question is this — would Howard agree to an extension (or to re-sign) with the Lakers? After speaking to Kobe Bryant last year that seemed in question, Howard reportedly got the impression he would be option No. 3 and was turned off to the idea of the Lakers. Would that change? Howard has said he wants out, but Brooklyn is making aggressive moves because they cannot wait around for him.
Orlando would not care, they would make the deal. But the Lakers would likely not make the move without an assurance from Howard. If Howard says no to the Lakers, he runs the risk of Orlando shipping him somewhere less desirable. Houston and Brooklyn have reached out, you can expect some other teams (Golden State?) to jump in as well.
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