Lakers Trade Rumors
Is Dwight Howard about to join the Los Angeles Lakers? According to recent reports around the league, the Lakers have been actively pursuing a trade that would net them coveted All-Star center Dwight Howard. This is after negotiations between the Orlando Magic and New Jersey Nets broke down and the Nets decided instead to resign their young center Brook Lopez to a four-year, $60.8 million deal.
The latest trade rumors have a framework in place that would send Howard to the Lakers, Andrew Bynum to the Cleveland Cavaliers and a package of Anderson Varejao, draft picks and cap relief to the Magic. The Magic have their concerns about Bynum's health and his willingness to sign with the team long-term. The inclusion of a third team like Cleveland would allow Orlando to unload some of their bad contracts (such as Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson) and begin to completely rebuild their team without the risk that Bynum carries with him.
While Laker fans are standing by ready to help Howard pack his bags for L.A., there are still a few hurdles that need to be cleared before this trade can happen. Both Howard and Bynum are free agents at the end of next season and teams might be hesitant to trade for a player that could walk away at the end of the year. While the Lakers have indicated that they would be willing to trade for Howard even without assurances that he would sign a long-term extension with the team,reported on Thursday that Howard is now "excited" about the opportunity to play with the Lakers and is prepared to sign a long-term extension with the team after the 2012-13 season if he were to get traded.
However, the sticking point for this trade could be Andrew Bynum. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Cleveland will only make this deal if Bynum agrees to a long-term extension with the team. That might be a tough sell for the 24-year old All-Star, who will have plenty of teams interested next offseason when he becomes a free agent. The Cavaliers and owner Dan Gilbert believe that they can sell Bynum on the idea of playing alongside a potential superstar point-guard in Kyrie Irving on a team full of young, talented players. However, the Lakers still have to grant permission for the Cavaliers to speak with Bynum about an extension, which will only happen if the Magic also agree to the general framework of the trade. The Magic and new GM Rob Hennigan appear to be in no rush to trade Howard, who they have under contract for the 2012-13 season, so this potential deal could drag on for a while.
Adding Howard to a Lakers' starting unit that already includes Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol would instantly make the team favorites to win a NBA championship, if they aren't already. The Lakers are clearly trying to make this trade happen, Howard now seems to want to go to L.A., the question is are the Magic and Bynum motivated enough to set this blockbuster in motion?
Contributed by Give Me The Rock