Once again the Dwight Howard drama is beginning to swirl, but this time it is not a proposed three-team deal that probably has no legs, or some bogus theory of where Howard might wind up, but rather a revelation of a new destination that Howard would like to go to. Up until an hour ago, or so, Howard had his list of preferred teams at one, the Brooklyn Nets, but now a rumor has just surfaced that Howard would like to be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, and will commit to signing a long-term extension through the 2012-2013 NBA season.
For the Lakers this is great news as it now gives them ample reason to take their pursuit of Howard to the next level. Had Howard stood on the idea of only wanting to play for the Nets then the Lakers may have only half-heartily tried to pursue Howard, and may have even walked away from the talks. But now there is just no way, with Howard stating that he will commit long-term to the Lakers, that the Lakers can walk away from the idea of acquiring the best center in the NBA.
Now while this recent news is great for the Lakers it is sort of depressing for the Houston Rockets, who have went all out to try and acquire Howard thus far. But all hope may not be lost. The Lakers still do not want to take on the bad contracts of Hedo Turkoglu, andJason Richardson. On top of that, the Orlando Magic have been said to have no interest in center Andrew Bynum, meaning that the Rockets, if they are willing tofacilitate a trade, could wind up with a young superstar in Bynum.
Now that Howard has a preferred destination, to a team that has a legitimate shot of acquiring him via trade, (unlike the Nets at this time), it seems that the Rockets may back off the idea of trying to trade for Howard and instead settle for second best with Bynum. That is, if the Cleveland Cavaliers don’t beat them to it first. The Cavaliers have popped up in Howard rumors, as the third team facilitating a trade, and have assurances from Bynum’s camp that he would re-sign long-term in Cleveland. It seems as though the race may now be between Houston and Cleveland as to who has the best assets to facilitate a Lakers, Magic trade and land Bynum in the process.
DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @NBAINSIDERINFO