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Report: Lakers not looking to trade Dwight Howard. Yet.

Jan 23, 2013, 10:20 AM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

We told you how the rumor mill had started — Dwight Howard trade talk is heating up everywhere.

Except with the Lakers. They are not interested at all.


The Lakers brought in Dwight Howard to be the latest in the long line of great centers to play for the organization and keeping him long term as the face of the franchise after Kobe Bryant is still their plan, reports

But they add that it could be starting to change.

The Los Angeles Lakers have consistently turned away trade inquiries in recent weeks for All-Star center Dwight Howard and still believe they have a strong chance of signing him to a new contract when Howard becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, according to sources close to the situation.

But sources told this week the Lakers might be forced to reconsider that position between now and the Feb. 21 trade deadline because of Howard’s growing unhappiness with his role under coach Mike D’Antoni and the potential that raises for Howard leaving them in July without compensation.

As I noted yesterday, the big concern with the bunk “the Nets want Dwight Howard” rumor was the rumor’s source — a reporter known for ties close to the Howard camp. If people around Howard are starting to think about trade possibilities and moving him, that’s the first real sign that he may not re-sign with the Lakers this summer.

Well, that and his disinterested and disengaged play of late. Howard may not like the system but he still has a lot of lessons to learn about winning on a real title contender.

But it’s simple for the Lakers — if Howard is likely to walk next summer they have to consider moves.

What about trading Pau Gasol instead? Don’t bet on it, reports ESPNLA.

In addition to rebuffing the trade interest in Howard, Lakers officials are also reluctant to trade Pau Gasol for players who fit D’Antoni’s system better — despite Gasol’s recent demotion to the bench — because they still have no assurances Howard will stay beyond this season and don’t want to risk losing both of their elite big men after trading away Andrew Bynum in the original Howard deal last August. The Lakers’ league-high $100 million payroll likewise makes it difficult to seriously consider deals involving Gasol because the Spaniard’s $19.3 million salary would almost certainly require them to take back long-term contracts they want to avoid. L.A. has been trying to preserve the considerable payroll flexibility that it’s on course to have in summer 2014.

The bottom of that graph is the real key — the Lakers want maximum flexibility with their roster for the summer of 2014, both to lower payroll from the current $100 million level and to let them reshape the roster (remember LeBron James can opt out of Miami that year). The Lakers are not taking back long-term contracts, which really limits what they can do.

  1. cosanostra71 - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    I still think Howard will resign. He has more money on the table, and the only larger market has two teams that can’t offer him a max contract. I just wish the Lakers would start winning and seal the deal!

    • ludachrisgsx - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      I agree. I seriously doubt the rumblings from a Howard source are meant to force a trade. If anything, it’s likely Howard’s way of pushing for a new coach/system. He most likely wants to stay in LA, get his big pay day, but also play in a system that better suits him. Just because he’s not happy with the current system doesn’t mean he wants to be traded. He knows that this team will have a ton of cap space soon and the willingness to dip into the luxury tax to try and build a contender. He knows it’s an attractive destination for free agents.

      • heat256 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:35 PM

        Yeah, but look at it from another angle: Howard has already seen how harsh the media and fans are in LA when you’re not doing well, as they have high expectations for that franchise, and if you can’t/won’t deliver, you’ll be run out of town. He might not be wired that way to take that kind of criticism or load upon himself. I think he probably resigns, but will most likely regret it if he does as his deficiencies as a franchise player are becoming more glaring as time goes on.

      • cosanostra71 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        “Yeah, but look at it from another angle: Howard has already seen how harsh the media and fans are in LA when you’re not doing well”

        Well the New York media is known for being the opposite of harsh, right?…

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      The Knicks can make a deal, don’t get it twisted, B.

      • heat256 - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        Chandler isn’t attractive enough for LA. Neither is Stat. Melo is the only one that is, and NY isn’t trading him. LA can get a better deal elsewhere.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:53 PM

        For what D’Antoni does, he is.

      • bigzant82 - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:17 PM

        trade him too the knicks for amare shumpert and others

  2. aboogy123456 - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Another stupid article title by Kurt, trying to add the drama by adding the word “yet”. You need to come up with better headlines, that is seriously overused in all the articles. Also, the lakers gave no indication that they would EVER trade Dwight, so just because some dumb fans want it to happen doesn’t mean they will change their mind. Dwight is a big baby, but he’s their future, they are not trading him, period.

    • cantonbound13 - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      Kurt only writes positive things about his Miami Heat. What do you expect?

  3. zacksdad - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Lakers not looking to fire Mike D’Antoni. Yet.

    This would be such a better headline, it is better choice.

    • ihavenonickname - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:05 AM


      • lmoneyfresh - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:20 AM

        That bridge has been burned to the ground.

      • zacksdad - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        Agreed, Phil should sign for the final half of the season for a 1 or 2 million. See what he can do with this roster this year. If he could sneak in the playoffs, watch out. Then if he does well, he can name his own price next year.

      • zacksdad - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:25 AM

        Money can build new bridges. Also rehiring Phil would embarrass Jimmie (Jim Buss, until he runs the Lakers like a man, he is now Jimmie to me). Phil would love to stick it to Jimmie, heck he is already sticking to his sister. :0

      • bucrightoff - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:18 PM

        If they went begging to Phil, he would have the most leverage any coach (or athlete for that matter) has ever had. The Lakers needed him earlier and they gave him the finger. If he has any pride and business sense, he’ll ask for the moon (like at least a pro-rated $15m a season)

      • loungefly74 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM


        bingo. i think we start talking % of ownership. well heck, he is with the daughter, so PJ is already family!

      • eventhorizon04 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:28 PM

        Phil Jackson is very unlikely to take over what looks like a nearly-lost season.

        If he did, he’s not going to accept less money than he asked for before since the Lakers’ franchise is even more desperate than they were before.

  4. smoochytherhino - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    I think Howard is overrated given his current level of play and the fact that he has tarnished his reputation pretty severely. A few years ago he looked like he was going to break out offensively. But he has proven himself injury prone, hard to please, and his play has been inconsistent at best over the last couple seasons. Even his bread and butter, his defense, has suffered because injuries have hampered his athleticism.

    If I were LA I would trade him to the Nets for Lopez and another player/pick in heartbeat over letting him walk or resigning him.

    • paleihe - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      He’s proven to be injury prone? He was never injured prior to this back surgery. Howard has never been inconsistent.

      LA shouldn’t get rid of the player, it’s the coach that’s the issue. You don’t get rid of the best center in the league cause the coach doesn’t know how to use him. Trading Gasol isn’t the answer either.

      A good coach plays to his players strengths…not this crap that D’Antoni is trying to do.

  5. loungefly74 - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    wow. well…first off, i was completely wrong about the season. the Lakers are horrible and a mess. i deserve to be pelted with stones. hey, i’m a fan. what am i supposed to do? they were projected to be great.

    anyway…trading Dwight. i can’t get over it but if the guy does not want to be there, then trade him for the best package ASAP. now…with Dwight wanting to go, we would have to keep Gasol and maybe he can go back to the 5 spot.

    i have said it before…i’m glad the Lakers (front office) reacts to challenges and such and make changes (unlike 90% of the league) for the good (most of the time). i’m sure they are plotting their master plan right now on how to improve this disappointing team.

    oh…wouldn’t be too shocked if D’Antoni is gone next year….

    • chitownmatt - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      Why would anybody trade their future to “rent” Dwight Howard for a few months???

      His current level of play is being hampered by injury, so he has NO immediate value for any team looking to make a playoff push.

      And NOBODY is going to take his word that he “wants to stay” wherever he might go.

      The idea of trading Howard for any valuable player is a Laker Fan’s Pipe Dream!!!

      Keep Dreamin’ Kurt.

  6. mazblast - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    People keep doing this bit involving, “The Lakers should trade…”, ignoring the fact that in order to make a trade, another team has to be interested, willing, and able to make a deal.

    Howard is aching, ailing, seemingly disinterested, and has never really been a big offensive threat. Not exactly what you want in a rental player. Gasol is aging, soft, defensively challenged even when interested, and has a ridiculous contract. KoMe has a huge contract and a full NTC which he’s indicated he’ll invoke, plus he’s the face of the franchise (arrogant and self-centered), so we won’t get into his ball-hogging and “defense”. Nash is old and never could play defense.

    So who do you trade? All you’re left with is a OK-but-not-what-he-used-to-be Metta and a way subpar bench.

  7. hybes1 - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    I think you make that deal for Kevin Love ASAP with either peddling off Gasol (I wouldn’t move) or Howard (I think makes sense). I think that Howard is not a guy who wants to win titles. If he cared so much in terms of being a defensive beast that he was for the last amount of years instead of caring about his touches, the Lakers would be so much better. But D’Antoni is such a goof..COACHING means you coach them to fit your system with modifications, not simpy play your system to fit players. Gasol is one of the top centers in the League and you can’t work him in your system. Are you serious???? If you need an example: Riley coached Showtime but had to adapt when he went to the Knicks and Miami…he adapted!!!

    • aboogy123456 - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      you understand that Dwight howard is a much better player than Kevin love right? Defense has been the biggest problem, so you think it makes sense to trade one of the best defenders in the league for a below average defender in love? I agree with your points about Gasol though, I just think Kevin love is not a solution.

      • hybes1 - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:49 AM

        Howard is a better player in terms of defense but Love does more if he plays within that system or wherever he plays. Plus he’s a walking double double as well. Plus he makes FTs. You are never calling plays for Howard at the end of games. It sucks that Howard is hurt but he’s really proving that he’s Peter Pan..grow up man..healthy or not. I’m not saying that Love is even close to Howard in terms of presence but that dude can play. I’d love him on my Knicks but that won’t happen

    • bougin89 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:38 PM


      I highly, highly doubt Howard would agree to resign with the T’Wolves so there is no way Minnesota would agree to this trade unless he would agree to resign. They would also never trade Love for Gasol. Love is a young/entering or in his prime PF who they have locked up for the next few seasons. I’m a fan of Gasol but no way would the T’Wolves trade Love for the quite a bit older Gasol.

  8. cantonbound13 - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Howard for Cousins & Tyreke Evans.

    • loungefly74 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      i’d do it!

    • ludachrisgsx - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      So you suggest we trade Howard for Cousins in order to get a more professional and mentally tough player who won’t let the team down with ejections and suspensions? Awesome, let’s do it!

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      Don’t forget Chandler is an attractive piece and would be entering his “expiring contract” year of 2014-2015 in the summer of 2014, when the Lakers will be shedding Kobe’s money (even if he comes back, he would take less to have another shot at winning), so to think that the Knicks cannot trade Chandler for Howard is a bit of a reach by those who don’t recognize it.

      • kinggw - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        Your proposed scenario makes absoultely no sense. What does the summer of 2014-2015 have to do with Dwight Howard and this upcoming offseason? Howard will be a free agent this summer. Any deal for him will be consumated this summer.

        You think the Lakers are going to accept a deal for a 30 year old, offensively deficient center who is owed almost $30M after this season to move Howard? Only a Knick homer would think thats a viable situation. Theoretically, the Knicks could trade for Howard, but so could the Wizards. Its not going to happen.

    • aboogy123456 - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:34 PM

      I’m a lakers fan, and I’m thinking it would be nice to trade howard for cousins straight up.

  9. ron05342 - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    I love the semantics.

    The first paragraph (regarding the denial) is “sources close to the situation.”

    The second paragraph is pure speculation as it references just “sources.”

    Talk about making stories up. This guy isn’t going anywhere. Not by trade, anyway.

  10. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Trade him to Orlando

  11. greenejoemean - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Howard and nash for rondo

  12. codysteeler - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Brook Lopez and 2 nonstarting role players for howard and the nets turn into a top 3 team

  13. fanofthegame79 - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Dwight Howard for Chris Bosh – helps both the Heat and the Lakers with what they need. Heat get a good center, Lakers get a stretch 4 who can shoot all the way to the 3-point line. Gasol stays a Laker and moves back to center. Then, in 2014 – when Bosh’s contract is up, Lakers can look for other options (LeBron is available, Kobe may retire…).

    • ludachrisgsx - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      Hmmm, so if Howard is unhappy deferring to Kobe and not having a system built around him, why would he be more happy in Miami where he would drop down to the third option? And why would Miami want to give up a team-first player that has good chemistry with the team for a guy who is developing a reputation of being toxic? And how would Bosh help improve LA’s defense? And would he be the type of player LA can build around in the future, because that’s what they’d be trading away… doesn’t make much sense for either team really.

      • heat256 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        To be honest, that wouold work well for both teams. LA gets a big man with a great shooting stroke in Bosh, who can have Gasol mask his rebounding deficiencies, while MIA gets a banger in the low post who can focus on defense and rebounding and LeBron and Wade can effectively coddle and motivate him at the same time. Doubt they’d do it, but never hurts to try.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        Kind of what the guy below me replied: We all know that LeBron and Kobe are polar oposites so I don’t think Howard would be a 3rd option. Bosh was the 3rd option becuase he didn’t have a post game and his skills were duplicated with the other shooters the Heat have. And if you look at the all-star games that Howard and LeBron were paird up for, they had great chemistry (remember last year they were dancing and Derrick Rose famously stated “he doesn’t dance…”). So I don’t think he would be too toxic for the Heat. And in reality, if he leaves at the end of the season, the Heat would have that cap room to pick up other players (read: center). The Lakers would have more players that fit with the D’Antoni’s current style AND Pau Gasol (Kobe’s boy) would be playing his natural position: center – which he won 2 championships while playing center. I think effort is just as much to blame for the Lakers as their defense is – and I think it has to do with player chemistry: as in, there is none on the Lakers right now. Bosh is a glue guy…a hard worker, good scorer, decent defender (see the Finals) – this would be a good deal for both teams.

    • eventhorizon04 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:35 PM

      A few things:

      “Dwight Howard for Chris Bosh – helps both the Heat and the Lakers with what they need. Heat get a good center, Lakers get a stretch 4 who can shoot all the way to the 3-point line.”
      That trade helps the Miami Heat’s defense and rebounding, so I think they’d be interested so they’re a defense-first team. Spoelstra would have to abandon small-ball, of course, but Dwight takes care of their size issues.

      However, that trade kills the Lakers’ defense. The Lakers are the league’s worst-defense whenever Dwight is on the bench, and they rise to league-average when he’s on the floor. Chris Bosh has improved defensively since coming to Miami, but he can’t anchor the Lakers’ defense by himself the way Dwight has.

      “Then, in 2014 – when Bosh’s contract is up, Lakers can look for other options (LeBron is available, Kobe may retire…).”
      Bosh’s contract in 2014 is a player-option, not team option.
      Bosh could decide not to opt out if he really likes playing for the Lakers, in which case the Lakers would have to keep him.

      So the move doesn’t really keep the Lakers’ future flexible, and while it helps their offense, it kills their defense. I also doubt Miami breaks up its championship core after 2 consecutive Finals appearances.

  14. fanofthegame79 - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    I want to preface that I’m not a Lakers fan, but I did call the D’Antoni hiring. Here’s why D’Antoni is still the right fit – IF the players on that team changed a little (but well within their skill sets) they would have the perfect D’Antoni team. Gasol can shoot – he does not need to play the post or the center position. Dwight Howard can run, and can be an effect running center. Everything else fits – Nash running the point, Kobe shooting from where ever he wants. Jamison and World Peace are also good shooters. That’s what the D’Antoni system is “run the floor, and shoot if the ball quickly. That’s what the Lakers management saw with this roster – and that could still work. But the players need to buy in – cuz the coach won’t change.

    • loungefly74 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      you are right. the scoring is actually good though. 4th in the league, i believe. its the Defense that sucks major donkey ballz…

  15. MyTeamsAllStink - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Either way Dwight won’t be a Laker next season.He didn’t want to be there to begin with and the dysfunction this team is in just solidifies that.

    • ludachrisgsx - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      Strange, that’s not what it looked like when he got to LA… his words and body language told the world he was honored to be there. But then again, you can’t tell with Dwight. He’s proven that he doesn’t always tell you what he really is thinking. He tells you what he thinks you want to hear, hoping that you’ll like him more. He’s proving to be a cancer if he doesn’t get his way.

  16. deshackle - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Trading Dwight Howard and keeping Kobe Bryant is the definition of hustling backward. Granted, Dwight Howard is an example of why the NBA should adopt the same policy the NFL employs; a player must be 3 years removed from high school to meet eligibility requirements. Right now Dwight is arrested development, but I believe can still be groomed into a hall of fame center.

    Trade Kobe and Pau Gasol to the Bulls for Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, and Derrick Rose. To the Minnesota Timberwolves for J.J. Barea, Brandon Roy, and Kevin Love. To the Indiana Pacers for most of their young talent.

    Kobe still has a couple years left in the tank, now is the time trade him for maximum trade value and build the team around Dwight Howard.

    • loungefly74 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:12 PM

      very bold move…but it wouldn’t happen.

    • bougin89 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      Why in the world would the Bulls agree to that trade????

      This is why people call Laker fans delusional.

      Every team is looking to trade younger/cheaper talent for older more expensive players to the Lakers…SMH.

      • chitownmatt - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:34 PM


        Why don’t the Bulls throw in Taj Gibson and Noah along with Coach Thibodeau as well???

        Lets trade a young .600 team for the oldest part of a .415 team… and throw in our MVP.

        Keep dreaming.

    • hannsta - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      Id take Rose over Kobe anyday and Deng over Gasol anyday. 2 Aging stars for 2 growing stars, 2 terrible contracts for 2 good contracts? Then wait, you throw in Boozer too?!? Are you high lol?

    • ludachrisgsx - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      Why would the Bulls trade a franchise player of the future for a couple good players who will be done in a few years? Minnesota, well, they might do something crazy like that, but I can’t see Chicago letting go of Rose for anyone but Durant or LeBron. I doubt they’d even consider trading Rose for Howard. I know I wouldn’t.

      Kobe won’t be traded, nor should he be. It will cause even more turmoil for the organization since Kobe will have to agree to the trade – that will be an ugly process that the team will not want to go through. You might not be able to surround Kobe with enough talent to contend (even though they tried like hell to do so), but the idea that he might sign a new cap friendly contract and be to the Lakers in 2 years what Tim Duncan is to the Spurs right now is very intriguing. I doubt he retires. I bet he signs for another 2 years and becomes more of a role player or 3rd option for those last couple years, allowing the team to sign another good player to match up with Dwight… or if Dwight leaves, they sign a free agent or make a trade for a new guy to build around.

      This season is lost, but the Lakers still have some good things going for them. They’re just losing out on being able to take advantage of Kobe’s last few good years. In the long run though, that’s not necessarily the top priority.

    • eventhorizon04 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:37 PM

      I love trades like this.

      “These players on my team are old, declining, and overpaid. Therefore, the team should trade them away for young All-Star talent. C’mon, it’s so easy!”

  17. progress2011 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    AHAHAHAHAHA….Reading the desperation of FAKERS brings me so much joy.

    All of my years teaching the GRASSHOPPA’S has come full circle.

    The one SHINNING lesson is: FAKE MJ IS NOT MJ……ahahahahahaAHAHAHAHAHAH

  18. 00maltliquor - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    I’d rather keep him and risk losing him them trade him and never try at all (like the Jazz did with Deron Williams when they traded him on pure fear that there was a possibility he wouldn’t re-sign).

  19. lemfaxx - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Trade kobe thats the best move but kobe is the lakers world. Ur right, howard is the only choice coz ders no assurance that he will resign… Trade him to the western rival is not a good idea. Therefore New york is the answer and that is AMARe.

  20. ludachrisgsx - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    It doesn’t really make sense to trade Howard. If he leaves over the summer he opens up cap space – not ideal but not necessarily the end of the world. The team has $68 million in guaranteed contracts next season, and with Stern projecting a 20% growth in revenue this season, the cap and luxury tax threshold could jump up substantially. The next salary cap could be over $80 million based on Stern’s projected revenue growth. Sources:

    Theoretically, the Lakers could amnesty Gasol this summer and open up another $19 million. If Howard leaves, that puts them down near $49 million for the team cap, with another $30 million to spend before they hit the luxury tax threshold. Doesn’t seem like doom and gloom to me. If Howard signs, that means they could still amnesty Gasol and make room to sign a free agent or make a trade, assuming that luxury tax threshold is accurate. Who knows.

    Regardless, t’s in Howard’s best interest to stay anyway, financially and for his image. He knows that if he leaves this team, after what he did to Orlando, his reputation would likely never recover and he’d lose a lot of credibility in the eyes of fans, coaches, and general managers. He has a lot more to lose than just the extra money. Not to mention that there is no guarantee that the situation he leaves for will be any better than the one he’s in now – keep in mind that this situation is bad partly because of the way he’s handling it, and that will carry over to anywhere he goes.

    • ludachrisgsx - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      Meant to say the next luxury cap threshold could be over $80 million, the cap could be over $65 million.

  21. ph53knowsall - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    I got quite a few chuckles out of the delusions of the lakers fans and their “trade scenarios”.

  22. deshackle - Jan 24, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    I’m not a Lakers fan and I’m thoroughly enjoying their current state of affairs. I think Kobe Bryant is a selfish prick. But, if I were given the task of fixing the Lakers I’d trade Kobe and rebuild featuring Dwight Howard.

    My trade proposal with the Bulls is theoretical but makes perfect sense to me, because acquiring Kobe Bryant would make the Bulls the hottest franchise in sports. Besides, it’s not like they have a championship roster anyway. So yeah; Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah if you want to throw him in there in exchange for Kobe and Pau. The United Center would be on fire every night. Kobe and some role players in Chicago would be ideal and would probably help the NBA become relative again.

  23. orlowk - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    This is no surprise. Howard didn’t want to go to the Lakers, even if they are a great team and could give him great player options to win a championship. Howard is going to waste his career trying to get somewhere to win instead of learning to win where he is. He’s not that good, he’s just the best big man around right now. But, he’s no Shaq, or Parish, or Duncan, or any of the other big men you can think of. He needs a Kobe or a LeBron, or the like. So, till he learns that, he’s not going to be all that he can be.

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