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Report: Four-team Howard deal close… unless it is not

Aug 9, 2012, 7:56 PM EDT

Orlando Magic v New York Knicks Getty Images

The Dwight Howard Tilt-A-Whirl started spinning again today and we all just want to get off.

According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard a complex four-team deal to ship Dwight Howard to the Lakers is “close.”

A four-team trade that would send Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers is “very close” to happening and could be agreed upon Friday, league sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard.

The teams involved include Lakers, Magic, Nuggets and 76ers. There are a lot of scenarios flying around out there, but the primary framework of the deal has Howard and Al Harrington going to the Lakers; Pau Gasol and Arron Afflalo end up in Orlando; Andre Iguodala lands with the Nuggets; and Andrew Bynum becomes a member of the 76ers.

Except that ESPN’s Ric Bucher is reporting that Pau Gasol is not part of the deal being discussed. Which is to say there are a lot of scenarios being discussed, and that’s not a sign that things are imminent.

There are plenty of other signs that this deal is not that close. Among those are reports that as of a few hours a go the agents for Bynum and Horford had not been contacted. In the case of Bynum, who would be an unrestricted free agent after next season, you can bet there will be some feeling out to see if he would sign on to stay past the end of his deal in whatever city he was shipped to.

Still, things seem to be discussions and things moving forward a little.

Of course, we’ve been here before — remember that three-team deal with the Cavaliers and Lakers that was close? Exactly.

Another reason to take these reports with a grain of salt — the Magic are not feeling pressured to make a deal just to get it done. Here is what Magic CEO Alex Martins told Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated on Tuesday. You tell me if he sounds like a guy who is impatient.

“We have very specific goals as to what we would hope to achieve if we were to trade Dwight, OK?” said Martins…. “We acknowledge and are realistic about the fact that you’re never going to get equal value in return for Dwight Howard. But if we were to trade him, we have three primary goals that we’re trying to achieve and in the end, any deal that’s proposed to us I think we’ve been very clear about the fact about the goals of what we’re trying to achieve.

“We have never delineated from that. Some may think that we have, but we have not. Clearly, when we find the right combination of pieces that we’re looking for in return, that will determine whether we make a deal or not.”

Does this deal really sound like they are getting everything they want? Pau Gasol (who would be flipped in another trade probably near the deadline) and Arron Afflalo, plus some picks and parts?

We can have a discussion of whether or not they can really reach all their goals — teams are not making huge offers now and James Dolan isn’t coming in to boost the offer at the last minute. You can argue that the deals are not going to get better for Orlando. Sure, they would love young players and picks and to get rid of Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu, but asking for all of it may be too much.

There is a real deadline out there, but it is not until the trade deadline in February. It’s not that soon.

Orlando’s management really care how sick of the Tilt-A-Whirl you are, they are going to keep the ride going until they get what they want and choose to get off. On their terms.

That may or may not happen in the next few days.

  1. lakerluver - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Bynum will re-up with the 76’ers. He will not give up over 25 million bucks. But if he does leave them, I don’t care, we’re getting SUPERMAN IN THE PURPLE AND GOLD!!!

  2. shockexchange - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Sometimes people should watch what they wish for … it just might come true.

  3. kvanhorn87 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Dopes, Bynum grew up an hour away from Philly. He will re-sign. Big guts by Sixers giving up so much but they needed a guy like Bynum. Big night for the 3rd most winningest franchise in MBA history. Lakers look sick, Denver gets a veteran leader, Orlando gets picks/young guys/rid of Jason Richardson contract. All teams won on this one.

  4. Mr. Wright 212 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:57 PM


    And stop hating, Kurt, MY GOD.

  5. lakerluver - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    @shockexchange, go away, LOSER!!!!!

  6. lakerluver - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Sooo, let me get this right. This offseason it appears that the LAKERS are gonna get Nash and D12 for Bynum and draft picks that never make their team anyway?! And basically they added a proven scorer off the bench in exchange for Odom? And some of you wonder why I trust the LAKERS franchise completely!! It’s all about winning Larry O’Briens in L. A., baby!!!

  7. cornbreadbbqred - Aug 10, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    Stop! Please! Just let me know after the fact, that is, when something actually happens! I know you league journalists wonks need some busy work in the off season, but not at our expense. Nuff said.

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