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Dwight Howard headed to the Lakers?

By Michael Katz
Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012, at 02:04PM
Keith Allison/Flickr Creative Commons

Dwight Howard may be headed West this week.

Perhaps Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard could end up in a Lakers uniform at Staples Center after all.

A new report from ESPN on Wednesday said that the Brooklyn Nets, who have long been the frontrunners to acquire the All-Star center, are no longer seeking his services as a deal was not reached by their self-imposed deadline. They have decided to sign center Brook Lopez to large contract, which would make it impossible for them to trade him as part of a deal for Howard until January.

With that deal dead, all eyes now return to the Los Angeles Lakers, who have been trying to trade for Howard the past couple of off-seasons and now appear to be in the drivers seat to get the center. In order to acquire Howard, the Lakers would have to trade their All-Star center, Andrew Bynum, and would attempt to get Howard to sign a long-term contract.

Besides the Lakers, the the Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks are also seeking to acquire Howard. There is also the possibility of a three-team trade that would involve any combination of the aforementioned teams and the Magic.

Bynum and Howard are largely thought of as the two best centers in the NBA. Bynum averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds points per game last season and started the All-star game for the Western Conference for the first time. Howard, who has won an eight-time All-star and won the MVP award in 2005 and 2006. The Lakers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder, four games to two, in the 2012 postseason and were swept by the Dallas Mavericks the year before.

If the Lakers were to acquire Howard, their projected starting lineup of Howard, Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace would compare favorably to the “upper echelon” teams in the NBA, specifically the Thunder and the Miami Heat, who are fresh off a championship.

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