ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 13: Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic smiles during the game against the Miami Heat at Amway Center on March 13, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Dwightmare Over: Howard Headed To Lakers

Our long national Dwightmare is over: Dwight Howard has been dealt to the Lakers in a four-team blockbuster deal.

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Dwight Howard Trade: Rockets Offer May Have Included Less Than Previously Reported

The Houston Rockets were heavily involved in the Dwight Howard trade talks prior to the multi-team trade between the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers. Previous reports suggested that the Rockets had all three of their 2012 draft picks on the table (Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones), but according to Spors Illustrated's Sam Amick, Houston actually only had Lamb on the table, not all three.

In addition to being unwilling to include the rookies in the deal, the Rockets also tried to pawn off some lesser players, including Marcus Morris, Jon Brockman and Gary Forbes, according to Amick. They also expressed the desire to unload Kevin Martin and his large contract, which would have been necessary to make any deal work under the salary cap. Finally, they only offered two future draft picks, when previous reports indicated they offered three.

Howard was eventually traded in a deal that saw the Magic receive Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington and multiple first-round picks.

For more on the Rockets, head over to The Dream Shake.

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Recurring Dwightmare: 4 NBA Stars Who Could Hold Their Teams Hostage

The Dwight Howard saga is over, but prepare yourself for the Kevtastrophe, ChrisPaulcalypse, LaMarcalypse and Drewsaster. The Hook presents its list of potential NBA sagas to come.

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Cellar's Remorse: Did The Magic Make The Right Dwight Howard Trade?

There remains one major question about the Dwight Howard trade: why did the Magic settle for this?

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Dwight Howard May Not Be Ready For Lakers' Opening Night

Dwight Howard told the media on Friday night that he may not be ready for the L.A. Lakers' opening night due to continued recovery from back surgery. He said that there's no timetable to get back into action, but that he hasn't lost any weight due to inactivity and hopes to be back in time to start the season with his new club.

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak also said the team consulted with Howard's back surgeon, who said that once Howard is back in action, he should be as healthy as he'd been before the back surgery. Howard's new teammate Steve Nash has also dealt with back issues throughout his career. Kobe Bryant's ailments are typically associated with the knee.

If Howard is late joining L.A, coach Mike Brown will have plenty of options with Pau Gasol, Antawn Jamison, Jordan Hill and Earl Clark under contract.

For more on the Lakers, visit Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles.

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VIDEO: Kobe Bryant Talks Dwight Howard Trade After Team USA Win

This is short and sweet, but you knew Craig Sager was going to ask Kobe Bryant about his new teammate, Dwight Howard. Late Thursday night, reports emerged indicating Howard was heading to the Lakers in a huge four-team trade. And as quickly as the rumors popped up, the trade was finalized with the league office.

So naturally, the attention turned to Kobe. And he handled things politically after Team USA beat Argentina to advance to the gold medal game.

"You know, I'm excited. I mean, we know the type of presence he brings and the physicality that he brings. I'm looking forward to it. It's been an incredible summer for us."

Kobe heaped even more praise on Howard later, as well.

Not sure how much truth there is to that statement, but there you go. Kobe has a new toy to play with, and the Lakers have to be considered a favorite, or at least in a select group of favorites, to win the NBA title. So of course Bryant is happy and making his new teammate feel welcome.

For more on the teams involved with the Howard deal, visit Magic blog Orlando Pinstriped Post, Lakers blog Silver Screen and Roll, Nuggets blog Denver Stiffs and Sixers blogLiberty Ballers.

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Dwight Howard Trade To Lakers Now Complete After Call With League

The Dwight Howard trade to the Los Angeles Lakers is now complete, as the four teams involved have finished their trade call with the league, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. The only thing left to do is for the four teams to issue their standard press releases confirming the news with their fans.

The Lakers will receive Howard, Chris Duhon and Earl Clark in the trade, while the Magic are expected to receive Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Moe Harkless, Nikola Vucevic and Josh McRoberts, as well as multiple first- and second-round picks. The Nuggets will receive Andre Iguodala, while the 76ers will get Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson.

The final pieces of the deal were being discussed on Friday, but the trade itself was never in doubt. Now, it only looks like a matter of time before all the loose ends are tied.

For more on these teams, visit SB Nation blogs Orlando Pinstriped Post, Silver Screen and Roll, Denver Stiffs and Liberty Ballers. And for more analysis of the trade, check out this video.


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Dwight Howard Trade: Denver Nuggets Fans React To Acquisition Of Andre Iguodala

The Denver Nuggets inserted their way into the Dwight Howard trade, swapping solid shooting guard Arron Afflalo and reserve forward Al Harrington in exchange for Philadelphia 76ers' all-star forward Andre Iguodala.

We talked to Nate Timmons of SB Nation's Nuggets blog Denver Stiffs about the trade.

The Nuggets have now traded Nene and Arron Afflalo, the two 2011 free agents that seemed most important to keep. Do you see it as an admission they overpaid or as a set of trades that upgraded the roster?

Timmons: The Nene trade looked like a deal to make the team younger and more financially flexible. The emergence of Kenneth Faried helped ease the pain of a Nene deal, but yes I felt like Denver likely had some buyer's remorse by dealing the Brazilian so quickly. They were able to pick up a very intriguing piece in JaVale McGee, and honestly, if he decides he wants to be, he could become one of the best centers in the league. So, while that Nene trade might have looked like a bit of a panic move by Denver, it also might have been a great case of selling high on a soon-to-be depreciating asset.

With the addition of Andre Iguodala, the Nuggets went in the opposite direction of the Nene deal, in a sense. They flipped the younger and cheaper Arron Afflalo for him, and that is a bit of a puzzling move, as he was well liked by the coaching staff and front office. But getting out from under the Al Harrington contract was a brilliant move, as it will not only save the Nuggets some money, but it opens up playing time for Wilson Chandler and perhaps Anthony Randolph, as well.

I think both of these trades actually improved the team. I'm very excited about the development of McGee and I think Iguodala will be just what the Nuggets need defensively and a play-maker on offense, while still allowing Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari to be the main offensive weapons.

How do you feel Iguodala fits with a George Karl style team?

Timmons: I know that George Karl really valued Afflalo and if I had to guess, I'd bet the Coach was hoping that one day Afflalo would be the Iguodala of the Nuggets. Now they have Iguodala, and I think he'll fit Karl's system perfectly. He's that physical defensive ace that will have Karl salivating in Denver's high risk/high reward defensive system. He'll be great in the transition game with his athleticism and finishing ability. Finally, he's such a willing and capable passer that I can also seeing Denver using him as a point-forward guy at various times.

Did the ceiling of the Nuggets get higher with the offseason that Denver had? Are the Nuggets, in your mind, a reasonable pick for a top-4 seed in the West?

Timmons: That's the big question -- how much has Denver improved this off-season? I don't see this Iguodala deal as a slam dunk for the Nuggets jumping into the mix for a top-4 seed. They lost two key rotation guys and it will be harder than people think to replace Harrington's bench production. Now the roles and development of Wilson Chandler, Anthony Randolph, Corey Brewer and Jordan Hamilton will be even more important to this team. We need to see what type of player McGee is going to develop into and Faried will need to avoid the sophomore slump.

A team led by the improving Lawson and hungry Gallinari did get better with the addition of Iguodala. However, I don't think anyone should be proclaiming that Denver will now be a top-4 seed.

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Be sure to follow trade coverage from the entire gang at Denver Stiffs. You can follow Nate on Twitter at @Nate_Timmons.

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500 Days Of Dwight: The Nightmare Is Over, And Title Dreams Begin Now

After more than a year of rumors, Dwight Howard is finally headed to the Lakers. Take a look back at how one trade demand spun out of control, and then imagine everything that comes next.

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Dwight Howard Trade Not Officially Complete, According To Report

While most seem to believe that it is only a matter of time until Dwight Howard is traded to the Lakers, the deal is not yet officially complete, according to Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel. However, it seems like any complications are with the minor parts of the trade, meaning the deal is still expected to get done.

The main pieces of the deal are Howard going to the Lakers, Andre Iguodala going to the Denver Nuggets, Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson going to the Philadelphia 76ers and Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington and three first-round draft picks (one from each team) going to the Orlando Magic. Beyond that, reports indicate Chris Duhon and Earl Clark are heading to the Lakers, while Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless and a couple second-round picks are going to Orlando. Four-team deals require a lot of moving parts around the edges, so it's not a surprise that those elements are still fluid.

It remains to be seen what other minor pieces are involved in this trade, but given that a trade call with the league has already been scheduled, it doesn't look like this complication will hold up much.

For more on these teams, visit SB Nation blogs Orlando Pinstriped Post, Silver Screen and Roll, Denver Stiffs and Liberty Ballers.

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Checking The Sixers' Perspective On Andre Iguodala Trade, Arrival Of Andrew Bynum

The Philadelphia 76ers became an integral part of the Dwight Howard trade this week, providing a landing spot for Andrew Bynum, a major chip in Andre Iguodala and a couple of prospects for the Orlando Magic in Nikola Vucevic and Moe Harkless.

We talked to Michael Levin of SB Nation's Sixers blog Liberty Ballers about the moves.

Andre Iguodala is finally gone. Is it bittersweet, or do you feel as if you can finally move on with this team?

Levin: I love Dre. He's a fantastic basketball player and has done nothing but be really good at his sport for eight years in Philly. He wasn't ever appreciated the way he should be because of the contract or his minor offensive deficiencies, but he was simply one of the best players to play in Philadelphia the past 25 years.

It's sad to see him go on a personal level, but he's needed to leave for three or four seasons now and both parties are better off for it. I can't wait to watch him in Denver.

You'd been critical of the Sixers' seeming willingness to be OK instead of sacrificing in the short term to be great. Has that philosophy with the franchise changed after the Brand amnesty and this deal, or is this the same ol' blueprint with new sketches?

Levin: I don't think there's anybody that's been more critical of the Sixers' moves over the past few seasons than me. But I have to eat some crow on this. This trade is such a non-Sixers move that we're accustomed to, it's definitely a philosophical shift in the mindset of this team. They've been famous for just maintaining status quo. But after being only a Rajon Rondo three away from making the Eastern Conference Finals, to their credit, they tore it down and managed to bring in a franchise center. This is uncharted territory for this team, and I love it.

Is the deal an abject failure if Bynum leaves in a year?

Levin: Absolutely not. First off, I'm very confident he'll sign a max extension. The Sixers can offer more years and more money and, to a much lesser degree, Philly is about an hour away from his hometown so that could play a factor as well. He's going to be the guy here, which I believe is what he wants.

But even if he does leave, then the Sixers made a lot of room and cleared a lot of space to be gymnastically flexible once he's gone. That would truly be a rebuild and next offseason would see them scrambling to bring in another franchise guy. Big changes needed to happen and they did.

My only question is who the hell is making these decisions? The Sixers are currently without a GM, Rod Thorn is notoriously Rod Thorn and Doug Collins is in London. Our money is on a summer intern.

***

Be sure to follow trade coverage from the entire gang at Liberty Ballers. You can follow Michael on Twitter at @Michael_Levin.

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Dwight Howard Trade From The Magic Perspective

The Orlando Magic finally traded Dwight Howard, sending him to the L.A. Lakers for... well, for a collection of players. Orlando will welcome Moe Harkless, Nikola Vucevic, Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington to town next season, and some additional picks over the next few years.

We asked Evan Dunlap, the ace editor of Orlando Pinstriped Post, a few questions about the deal.

Is this better than the rumored Nets or Rockets deals? Are you satisfied that, assuming Howard would not be convinced to stay, the Magic got a fair deal?

Dunlap: I'm not entirely sure this deal is the best Orlando could have gotten. Speaking broadly, the goal when trading a superstar is to obtain cap flexibility, draft picks, and at least one stud prospect. Orlando got some cap flexibility, a ton of mid-tier draft picks, and precisely zero stud prospects. Sure, Maurice Harkless projects to be a rotation-caliber player in time, but he's not on the level guys like Eric Gordon and Derrick Favors were when they were dealt for superstars.

But the Magic's goal is to be absolutely dreadful for the foreseeable future so that their own picks are valuable, enabling them to rebuild quickly. In that regard, this deal is a success. Without knowing exactly what Houston was offering, it's tough to say if this four-teamer tops it. Having said that, I can't imagine Houston's offer being any worse for Orlando's purposes.

Which acquisition are you most excited about? I won't believe you if you say "Al Harrington."

Dunlap: Short-term, the answer is Arron Afflalo. He'll be 27 when the season starts, but he's a solid two-way player who's really come into his own offensively. Long-term, it's Harkless, whose versatility had scouts buzzing prior to the draft this year.

Harrington's better than his reputation might suggest, so I'm not down on him.

Was the Dwight Howard era of the Magic a success?

Dunlap: I'd have to say it was a success, despite the way it ended. He anchored one Finals trip, another Conference Finals trip, and the only Finals win in franchise history. Everything went pear-shaped after the loss to Boston in the 2010 East Finals, but that's not at all Howard's fault.

You can follow Evan on Twitter at @BQRMagic. Be sure to check out his thorough trade coverage over at Orlando Pinstriped Post.

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Dwight Howard Disaster Proves You Should Trade Your Babies Young

The Magic waited too long for the sun to rise, and now it'll be dark for a long, long time.

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New Magic GM Rob Hennigan Didn't Run Dwight Howard Trade, According To Report

Finishing up a Dwight Howard trade -- any Dwight Howard trade -- was the first major decision on new Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan's plate upon being hired to replace Otis Smith this offseason. A Dwight Howard trade finally appears to be done, with the All-NBA center headed to the Los Angeles Lakers and the Magic scheduled to receive the incredibly light package of Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Moe Harkless, Nikola Vucevic and some picks.

Is that a massive ding on Hennigan's reputation? Perhaps it shouldn't be, as ESPN's John Hollinger reports that the new GM wasn't in the driver's seat on such a massive decision.

The non-basketball executives tend to get involved in the huge, impactful deals -- and not the smaller coin-flip risk-reward deals. Of course, in a perfect world, it'd be the opposite: you'd have the people paid to study basketball performance making the huge decisions because, you know, it's what you hired them to do.

Follow our StoryStream for full Dwight Howard trade coverage. For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.

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Chris Duhon, Earl Clark Also Headed To Los Angeles In Dwight Howard Trade

The Los Angeles Lakers acquired the biggest piece of the four-team Dwight Howard trade, but Howard isn't the only player heading to Los Angeles from Orlando. The Lakers will also acquire Chris Duhon and Earl Clark, according to a report from Marc. J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

The Lakers will be the fourth team of Duhon's career. He played in 63 games for Orlando last season, averaging 3.8 points and 2.4 assists per game. Clark, who was the No. 14 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, played in 45 games for the Magic last season. He has career averages of 3.1 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.

It's unknown if both players will stick with the Lakers or if Los Angeles will pursue buyouts to clear roster space.

For more on these teams, visit SB Nation blogs Orlando Pinstriped Post, Silver Screen and Roll, Denver Stiffs and Liberty Ballers.

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With Dwight Howard, Are The Lakers NBA Title Favorites?

The Los Angeles Lakers were essentially able to flip Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard on Thursday night, in a trade that happened about as suddenly as a sprint-jogged Usain Bolt victory in an Olympic final. And just that fast, the Lakers made themselves no worse than co-favorites to win the 2013 NBA title.


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Bynum has been very good to great in his Lakers tenure, but he's not exactly close to Howard defensively, because Howard's probably the best interior defender in basketball. Howard's not as polished as Bynum offensively, but on a Lakers team with Kobe Bryant sniping, Steve Nash dishing and Pau Gasol providing much of the finesse inside, he probably won't need to be.

Howard and Gasol should give the Lakers an interior presence that no other team in the Western Conference nor the NBA can match, and that duo makes the L.A. front line a nightmare for the aging (Spurs and Celtics) and slender (Thunder and Heat).

This is the Lakers team every other team's fans didn't know it had to fear, and one that should be the odds-on favorite to at least make the NBA Finals.

One major worry: Howard is the youngest of the Fantastic Four L.A. will start virtually every night, and yet he might be the one with the most terrifying injury history. Howard went from being an every-night player to being unable to go because of back problems in 2011-12, and if he's going to be the tentpole for the Lakers once Kobe leaves, that's a worrisome red flag to have on the medical report.

A second: Howard's napalmed his reputation with fans over the last two years by smiling while his Magic twisted in the wind, and there's been a steady drip of leaks that he is difficult to deal with in the locker room. If the Lakers aren't an instant behemoth, the magnifying glass will surely singe Howard again.

But, then again: Howard's never played with a player as good as Nash -- even this wily veteran version of him -- and Nash is probably his third-best teammate now. If he's invigorated by being able to win a title and rejuvenated by sharing the load, it could be a scary Howard we see next season.

As for that draft pick the Lakers are sending Orlando: WHO CARES, DWIGHT HOWARD IS NOW A LAKER.

For more on these teams, visit SB Nation blogs Orlando Pinstriped Post, Silver Screen and Roll, Denver Stiffs and Liberty Ballers.

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Dwight Howard Won't Sign Extension After Trade To Lakers, According To Report

Dwight Howard is reportedly on his way to the Los Angeles Lakers in a blockbuster trade, but that doesn't mean he has made a firm commitment long-term to the franchise just yet. Howard will not sign a long-term contract extension with the Lakers right now, preferring instead to test free agency, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

However, this isn't as much of a surprise as one would think, nor is it reason for Lakers fans to panic.


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This decision is more about money than anything. If Howard signs a contract extension now, the most he could earn is $60 million over three years. However, if he waits until free agency, he could earn a five-year contract from the Lakers that would pay him over $100 million. Howard is likely waiting to secure a longer-term deal next summer.

Assuming Howard tests free agency, the Dallas Mavericks will be interested in signing him, according to Stein. However, the lack of an extension from the Lakers shouldn't be cause for concern that scenario will happen. If it was, the Lakers probably wouldn't be this deep in trade talks.

For more on these teams, visit SB Nation blogs Orlando Pinstriped Post, Silver Screen and Roll, Denver Stiffs and Liberty Ballers.

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Magic, Lakers Working On 4-Team Dwight Howard Trade Involving 76ers, Nuggets, According To Report

The latest iteration of the ongoing Dwight Howard trade rumor mill now has the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers involving the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers in a four-team scenario, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. The trade proposal has several big names involved, and while nothing is imminent, Wojnarowski reports that the talks "have substance."

Here is the rough breakdown of the proposed blockbuster deal.

There is still much to be discussed, particularly with Bynum and Gasol. Wojnarowski reports that their ultimate destination is "fluid" and could change. The Magic would likely try to flip Gasol to receive more draft picks.

For more on these teams, visit SB Nation blogs Orlando Pinstriped Post, Silver Screen and Roll, Denver Stiffs and Liberty Ballers.

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Dwight Howard Adamant About Trade Request After Meeting With Magic GM

Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan likely went into his Wednesday meeting with Dwight Howard in Los Angeles hoping to convince the superstar to stay in Orlando at least long enough to get him to change his mind on his trade request. That ... didn't happen.

So Howard still wants a trade and won't be re-signing with the Magic. We knew that. But now Howard is reportedly outlining the scenarios he wants to see play out, which is sort of new.

This would, of course, put the Magic in a bit of a bind, as shipping Howard off for parts is harder than it was before other teams made moves and committed to courses in the 2012 NBA offseason, and that hasn't escaped Howard's notice. But the Magic are likely also justifiably leery of granting Howard's wishes and trading him to the Los Angeles Lakers or Brooklyn Nets: either of those teams adding Howard would create a superteam that might ultimately eclipse even the Miami Heat, and that would obviously be an impediment to Hennigan's Magic ever competing for NBA titles.

As for Howard's eventual destination, he seems likely to take one of three paths in the next 12 months:

  1. Get traded to the Lakers, possibly before the 2012-13 NBA season, and subsequently sign an extension with them. Sources told RealGM Howard would sign an extension with Los Angeles.
  2. Get traded to the Nets, likely not until after Brook Lopez becomes eligible to be traded again in January, and sign an extension with them.
  3. Remain with the Magic through the 2012-13 NBA season, and depart in free agency for Dallas, as the Mavericks look to be the overwhelming favorites to sign Howard once he hits the open market.

Boiled down like that, it almost seems simple: Howard only wants deals to teams that can't really offer trades the Magic will accept, so those teams will need to enlist third or fourth parties to facilitate a trade. But the third and fourth parties might be similarly hesitant to place Howard on a contender, so the Magic might end up deciding to take less than fair value for Howard before the threat of him walking and bringing no return becomes a certitude, which would probably make Howard a Maverick if he his free agency next July. (OK, fine, that's not simple.)

When it comes to the path Howard has taken into the sights of many spiteful NBA fans, though, there's no easy way out.

For continuing updates on the Dwight Howard saga, visit Magic blog Orlando Pinstriped Post, and for a history of how we got here, re-read this StoryStream.

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Dwight Howard, And The Renewal Of The Lakers Dynasty

The Hook attempts to determine whether swapping Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard would create a new Lakers dynasty in L.A.

The Hook is a daily NBA column by Tom Ziller. See the archives.

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Dwight Howard Spotted In Los Angeles As Lakers, Magic Continue Trade Talks

Will Dwight Howard be traded to the Lakers? If it happens this week, at least he won't have to travel far for his introductory press conference:

While Howard is in Los Angeles enjoying the national pastime, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and Magic GM Rob Hennigan found time between summer league games to meet face-to-face, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

But even if Kupchak and Hennigan can come to a deal -- in addition to Howard, the Magic are reportedly insisting Los Angeles takes back the overpaid Hedo Turkoglu or Jason Richardson -- there's still a matter of Howard agreeing to sign an extension with the Lakers.

Bresnahan reports Howard has had at least one in-depth phone conversation with Kobe Bryant, who's trying to recruit the All-NBA center. Howard, though, remains undecided, in part because he knows he'd likely be the team's third offensive option behind Bryant and Pau Gasol. Will that ultimately be the deciding factor? Stay tuned.

For more on the Lakers, head over to Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles. For more on the Magic visit Orlando Pinstriped Post and SB Nation Tampa Bay.

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Lakers, Magic To Meet Tuesday To Discuss Dwight Howard Trade, According To Report

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly meeting with the Orlando Magic on Tuesday to discuss trading for Dwight Howard, Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports.

Since the Brooklyn Nets dropped out of trade talks, the Lakers have ramped up efforts to acquire the All-Star center. Where we last left off, the Cleveland Cavaliers were the third team in a rumored three-team deal that would send Howard to Los Angeles.

While the details of that trade were not disclosed, Andrew Bynum seems like a likely trade chip. The Lakers may soon acquire Antawn Jamison and Jermaine O'Neal on minimum contracts, serving as another potential signal that Bynum may soon be leaving town.

For more on the Lakers, head over to Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles.

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Dwight Howard Needs To Make Houston His Home

Bomani Jones explains why Houston is the most logical place for Dwight Howard to go.

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Nets Will Make Final Decision On Dwight Howard Trade Pursuit On Wednesday, According To Report

There have been roughly one million deadlines made during the Dwight Howard trade rumors since they began, but eventually one of them is going to stick. Hopefully it's Wednesday's.

The New Jersey Nets have been the main team mentioned in pursuit of the Orlando Magic's All-Star center, but they've reportedly tired of pursuing him. In fact, according to ESPN's Ric Bucher, they're either going to trade for him or give up trading for him in the next 12 hours.

The reason the Nets are hoping to get the Magic deal done is because they have a center of their own that they're currently trying to appease in Brook Lopez. If Lopez isn't signed soon, trouble could ensue.

It's risky to report this considering the amount of moving parts involved -- what if the Nets publicly announce that they're never going to trade for Howard and then Magic general manager calls them up and offers Dwight Howard for a ride on Mikhail Prokhorov's yacht, for instance -- so hopefully the Nets decide that they're going to "get him" and everything is resolved by Thursday.

You can track all the Dwight Howard trade drama by visiting this StoryStream. For more on the Nets and Magic, check out NetsDaily and Orlando Pinstriped Post, respectively. The latest updates on all NBA news and rumors are at SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.

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Dwight Howard Trade Talks Include Houston Rockets Trying To Complete It Alone

Even though the Dwight Howard trade rumors looked to be coming to a close earlier this week, the internet seemingly knew the saga was far from over. That has proven to the be the case, too, as the Orlando Magic are now looking at new deals in an attempt to trade their disgruntled superstar.

There was a point in negotiations that the New Jersey Nets and Magic looked like they might be able to make a simple two-team deal, but things got out of control fast -- eventually also including the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers as ancillary pieces to the puzzle -- and that deal reportedly fell apart earlier this week.

The new buzz revolves around Daryl Morey and the Houston Rockets. The Rockets have been working hard to acquire assets over the past month and now, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, they're dealing with the Magic directly.

The Rockets have been mentioned throughout the process, but most reports had them grouped into a three-way trade that would also include the Los Angeles Lakers. It's a whole different deal if they're trying to keep LA out of the mix.

You can track all the Dwight Howard trade drama by visiting this StoryStream. For more on the Magic and Rockets, check out Orlando Pinstriped Post and The Dream Shake. The latest updates on all NBA news and rumors are at SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.

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Brook Lopez, Nets Negotiating Max Contract Extension, According To Report

The Brooklyn Nets certainly want Dwight Howard, but with a deal not in sight the team has inched closer to other options, such as negotiating a maximum contract with center Brook Lopez, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Such a deal, if or when it is signed, would prevent the Nets from trading Lopez until December, when teams are allowed to move players who signed new contracts.

Both sides still need to work on the length of the contract, which could be four years and $58 million or five years and $78 million. Also, the Nets want to make sure they will be covered in case Lopez's right foot becomes an issue. It broke twice this past season.

With the Nets seemingly moving out of a potential deal for Dwight Howard, NBA eyes will turn elsewhere to see where the center might wind up.

You can track all the Dwight Howard trade drama by visiting this StoryStream. For more on the Nets, Magic, Cavs and Clippers, check out NetsDaily, Orlando Pinstriped Post, Fear The Sword and Clips Nation, respectively. The latest updates on all NBA news and rumors are at SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.

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The Dwight Howard Debacle May Finally Be Over

In case you forgot, Serena Williams is the best female tennis player in the world. Roger Federer's on top again. And Chael Sonnen ... he just got his behind kicked. But let's start with the Dwight Howard trade we've all been waiting on in The Monday Morning Jones.

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Dwight Howard And The Crumbling Facade Of Competitive Balance

So much for the idea that the lockout deal would prevent players from wielding free agency like a weapon against smaller market teams.

The Hook is a daily NBA column by Tom Ziller. See the archives.

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Dwight Howard Trade: Nets Need Draft Picks To Give Orlando

The trade rumors for Orlando Magic all-star center Dwight Howard have died down over the past week, but the Brooklyn Nets still seem to be the primary destination for Howard. The Nets, however, would have to do some juggling to fit Howard's would-be salary under their cap. The team is also trying to put together a package that the Magic would be willing to accept.

According to a report by Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the Nets are trying to put together at least three first-round draft picks in a deal to acquire Howard.

As negotiations continue on multiple fronts on a possible Dwight Howard trade, the Brooklyn Nets are trying to assemble a package including at least three first-round picks to land the All-Star center, multiple sources told CBSSports.com.

If there is a deal to be made between the Nets and Magic, the most likely scenario would involve center Brook Lopez going to Orlando and a signed-and-traded Kris Humphries going to a third team, one of the sources said.

The Nets would need a third team involved willing to give up a first-round pick that the Nets could then send to the Magic in a deal for Howard.

For more on the Dwight Howard saga, stay tuned to SB Nation's NBA hub, and check out the Magic blog Orlando Pinstriped Post and SB Nation Tampa Bay. For more on the Nets, visit Nets Daily and SB Nation New York.

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Nets, Bucks Discussing Ersan Ilyasova Sign-And-Trade If Dwight Howard Deal Fails, Reports Say

The Brooklyn Nets continue to work to acquire Dwight Howard in a trade with the Orlando Magic, but if that fails, they have a backup plan in place. The Nets have talked to the Milwaukee Bucks about conducting a sign-and-trade for forward Ersan Ilyasova, with Kris Humphries being the likely piece heading back to Milwaukee. The news was first reported by Peter Vescey and confirmed by the New York Post's Fred Kerber.

The Nets appear to want to recruit a third team to pull off this complicated maneuver to land Ilyasova if the Howard trade falls through. It remains unclear who that third team would be, but one's best guess is that Humphries would be re-routed to that squad, with additional assets heading to the Bucks

Ilyasova had a breakout year for the Bucks last season, averaging 13 points and 8.8 rebounds per game while shooting 49.2 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from 3-point range. The 25-year-old was especially good in the second half of last season.

For more on the Nets, visit Nets Daily and SB Nation New York. For more on the Bucks, visit Brew Hoop.

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Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Magic Trying To Involve Hawks, Rockets, Lakers And Mavs

The Dwight Howard trade rumors are not going anywhere any time soon, friends. Just a couple of hours after news broke that there was a a chance of the Orlando Magic All-Star still going to Brooklyn, the latest reports indicate that there are still quite a few teams that might get involved before anything concrete occurs.

Aside from the Nets, the Magic are also still trying to rope the Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks into trade talks, according to CBS Sports' Ken Berger. Accompanying that news, Berger also points out the obvious by saying that Howard to the Nets certainly is not "imminent."

In all honestly, it doesn't seem like anything is imminent regarding the Howard situation. The new Magic front office is smartly trying to get the best deal it can by involving so many teams in potential trade talks, but considering Howard has been on the market as long as he has, how much can their offers really change?

For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.

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Nets, Magic Working On Dwight Howard Deal, According To Report

The Brooklyn Nets are discussing a trade with the Orlando Magic to acquire Dwight Howard, reports ESPN's Chris Broussard. The deal, which Broussard doesn't characterize as close to being consummated, would send Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and three first-round picks to Orlando in exchange for the three-time Defensive Player of the Year. Howard would join Deron Williams (a free agent himself, but believed to be favoring returning to Brooklyn), Gerald Wallace (to be re-signed) and Joe Johnson (acquired in a Monday trade). Hedo Turkoglu may also be going to Brooklyn in the scenario.

There are a number of moving parts involved. Humphries and Lopez are both free agents, meaning they would have to agree to new contracts with the Magic before they could be traded. No free agent signings can be made official until July 11 due to the league's free agent moratorium. But the deals could be put into place before then.

Howard has loudly requested a trade to the Nets. It was believed that Brooklyn didn't have enough assets to get it done. Giving up just about nothing in the Johnson trade seems to have worked out pretty well for Billy King.

For more on the Nets, visit NetsDaily and SB Nation New York.

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Joe Johnson Trade Likely Knocks Nets Out Of Dwight Howard Sweepstakes, According To Report

The Brooklyn Nets' blockbuster trade for Atlanta Hawks star Joe Johnson likely means that they have bowed out of the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, even though the Orlando Magic star has the Nets as the only team on his wish list. The Nets likely won't have the salary-cap space to take on Howard in the future, and it appears they have decided to move on after Howard decided to stay with the Magic for one more year back in March.

Howard may want to go to the Nets, but by waiving the opt-out clause, he surrendered a lot of his leverage. Indeed, according to NBA.com's David Aldridge, new Magic general manager Rob Hennigan was not interested by any Nets offer potentially on the table.

Instead of Howard, the Nets will push forward with a team that likely includes Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Deron Williams (hopefully for their sake) and Brook Lopez (likely).

For more on the Brooklyn Nets, check out Nets Daily. Atlanta Hawks news and info can be found at Peachtree Hoops, and all your NBA free agency coverage is available at SB Nation's NBA page.

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Dwight Howard Wants To Be Traded To Brooklyn Nets, Rob Hennigan Confirms

Dwight Howard rumors are all the rage lately and obviously can't be swept under the rug. The Orlando Magic did a smart thing on Monday morning, then, when new general manager Rob Hennigan decided to hold a press conference to address some allegations (while also introducing the team's new draft picks).

Most importantly, Hennigan decided to talk about the allegations of blackmail as well as the rumor that Howard would only re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets -- regardless of where the Magic decide to trade him.

It was nice of the new general manager to discuss these things in public, but it's doubtful anything changes any time soon.

For more on the Nets, visit NetsDaily and SB Nation New York. For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.

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Dwight Howard, Mikhail Prokhorov's Nets And The End Of All Logic

The Hook wonders why Dwight Howard is so bent on joining the Brooklyn Nets, and shows how his indecision has screwed them over, too.

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NBA Trade Rumors: Dwight Howard's Newest Suitor Is Golden State Warriors

When looking at how long the Dwight Howard trade rumors have gone on without anything happening, it's easy to believe they are seemingly never going to go away. But things have to be getting close, considering the number of NBA teams that have expressed interest in the Orlando Magic All-Star.

The newest team to throw their name into the hat this offseason is the Golden State Warriors, and according to ESPN's Chris Broussard, they wouldn't even require Howard to sign a contract extension contingent on the trade.

Golden State isn't the first team to say it'd take Howard off of the hands of the Magic on a one-year rental -- which seems like a necessity for any team not based in Brooklyn -- but it does give Orlando's new front office more options to get a deal done before things spiral any further out of control with our long national Dwightmare.

For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post. For more on the Warrriors, check out Golden State of Mind and SB Nation Bay Area.

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Dwight Howard Doubles Down On Brooklyn Nets, Denies 'Blackmail' Accusation

Dwight Howard told Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski on Sunday that he'll only sign a long-term contract with one team -- almost assuredly the Brooklyn Nets -- no matter where the Orlando Magic decide to trade him. The L.A. Lakers and Houston Rockets are reportedly looking to deal for Howard, who is a perennial All-NBA performer and three-time Defensive Player of the Year.

Howard also denies that he ever accused the Magic of blackmail, as reported by ESPN's Chris Broussard on Saturday. Broussard cited anonymous sources who said that Howard had sought players' union intervention to get his waiver of his early termination option -- the piece of paper he signed to forgo 2012 free agency back when everything was beautiful in Orlando in March -- dismissed.

Howard told Yahoo! that if the Magic trade him anywhere other than his one team (the Nets), he'll play out the 2012-13 season and sign with his chosen team at that point. That could affect his trade value, hurting the Magic's chances of getting a great return.

For more on the Nets, visit NetsDaily and SB Nation New York. For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.

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Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Lakers Discussing Deal With Magic, According To Report

The Los Angeles Lakers have joined the the group engaged in trade discussions with the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. While initial reports indicated that Howard had requested a trade to the Brooklyn Nets, the Lakers have also had preliminary discussions with the Magic over the weekend.

The All-Star center claimed this weekend that he was "blackmailed" by the Magic when he decided to opt-in for an additional year this spring. While his preferred destination is still Brooklyn, new Orlando GM Rob Hennigan has put him on the trade market and is apparently listening to offers from at least three teams. Wojnarowski reports that a deal with LA would almost certainly have to include the Lakers' Andrew Bynum heading to Orlando:

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.

In addition to the Lakers and Nets engaging the Magic, the Houston Rockets have also had discussions about trading for Howard.

For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post and SB Nation Tampa Bay.

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