Dwight Howard was spotted enjoying the Dodgers-Phillies game on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium as a guest of Magic Johnson. Now basketball fans are wondering if the All-Star center will be wearing the jersey of Magic's former team next season.
According to ESPNLosAngeles.com, the Los Angeles Lakers are pursuing Howard and are in talks with the Orlando Magic. Per the league source that spoke with ESPNLA, the sticking point isn't L.A.'s concern with Howard signing an extension. Instead, the hold up in a potential two-team deal is Orlando's concerns over whether Andrew Bynum would sign a long-term extension.
RealGM columnist Jarrod Rudolph cites unnamed sources in reporting that Howard would agree to re-sign with Los Angeles when his current deal is out.
While engaged in the Howard conversation, the Lakers continued their busy offseason with another move on Wednesday. Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reported that Antawn Jamison had decided to sign with the Lakers. The 14-year veteran is expected to sign when he comes back from vacation this week.
Los Angeles already reeled in two-time MVP Steve Nash earlier in the offseason. If they were to swap out Bynum for Howard, the Lakers would have added three players who have a combined 16 All-Star appearances this offseason.
There is another scenario in play in which Bynum is moved but doesn't end up in Orlando. According to ESPN's Ric Bucher, the Cleveland Cavaliers may have jumped in the conversation and would help facilitate a trade sending Howard to L.A. In this deal, Cleveland would acquire Bynum and send Anderson Varejao plus draft picks to Orlando.
Last week, Marc Stein and Chad Ford of ESPN reported that Houston was prepared to offer various combinations including Kevin Martin, Patrick Patterson, Marcus Morris, Chandler Parsons and potentially the draft rights to any of the three players selected last month (Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones) in exchange for Howard.
With Jeremy Lin having been acquired by Houston, it remains to be seen if the team's plans regarding Howard have been altered. Of course, with Lin's move completed there will certainly be a plenty of freed up air time and column space for the fates of Howard and Bynum to be thoroughly debated and commented upon.
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