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Howard agrees to come to LA if traded

By Michael Katz
Published: Thursday, July 19, 2012, at 11:32AM []

The Magic star has agreed to sign with the Lakers longterm if traded to Los Angeles.

If history does tend to repeat itself, the Lakers could be in for quite the treat today.

Almost 16 years ago to the day, the Los Angeles Lakers signed center Shaquille O’Neal away from the Orlando Magic. Today, they might be taking Dwight Howard away from the Magic, too.

That is because, per a report from, the Magic star has decided that if he were traded to the Lakers, he would sign an extension, keeping him with the team beyond his current contract, which expires at the end of next season.

This could mark the end of a tumultuous offseason for the six-time All Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year. Howard’s destination of choice had been the Brooklyn Nets. However, those talks fell apart last week. Now, the Lakers seemed poised to make a move sooner rather than later to acquire the 26-year old’s services.

To make room for Howard, the Lakers would have to trade All Star center Andrew Bynum. Bynum, though, has not committed to signing long term with the Magic, which is holding up a potential deal. The Cleveland Cavaliers have emerged as a possible third team in the deal, as they would be willing to take Bynum and give the Magic draft picks for their on-going post-LeBron James rebuilding effort.

For Laker fans, the acquisition of Howard would give the team their best center since O’Neal was traded in 2004. O’Neal signed with the Lakers as a free agent on July 18, 1996. He teamed with current Lakers star Kobe Bryant to win three NBA championships in a row in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Bryant recently announced he will probably only play two more seasons. The Lakers have had an eventful offseason in an effort to give Bryant more championship chances. The team traded for two-time MVP point guard Steve Nash and signed veteran forward Antawn Jamison yesterday. If Howard was added to the fold, the Lakers would be quickly become contenders again.


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