Dwight Howard Traded to the Lakers. It took four teams and months of negotiations, but Dwight Howard’s days in Orlando appear over. Sources confirmed Thursday night that Howard will be traded to the Lakers.
A four-team trade that would send Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers is complete, multiple sources told ESPN on Thursday night.
A source with direct knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein the Lakers will receive Howard, the Denver Nuggets will acquire Andre Iguodala, the 76ers will receive Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson, and the Magic will get Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic and one protected future first-round pick from each of the other three teams.
In addition, the Magic will be getting other pieces, including 76ers No. 1 draft pickle Harkless, a source told Stein.
Sources close to the process told Stein and ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne that a trade call with the league office has been scheduled for Friday to secure the necessary NBA approval to make the deal official.
Lakers forward Pau Gasol had been in and out of talks, sources told Shelburne, before ultimately being excluded.
One source briefed on Howard’s plans told Stein that the All-Star center will indeed stand firm on his intent to play out the 2012-13 season without extending his contract so he can become a free agent on July 1, 2013. Going that route will enable Howard to decide how comfortable he is in Los Angeles before deciding whether to re-sign with the Lakers or join the Dallas Mavericks, who will have the requisite salary-cap space to sign Howard and remain one of his preferred destinations from his original list of three teams (Brooklyn Nets, Lakers and Mavericks).
“If Los Angeles doesn’t work out for Dwight, Dallas will be there waiting for him,” the source told Stein.
One source close to Kobe Bryant, meanwhile, told Stein that the Lakers’ star was estatic Thursday night upon hearing that Los Angeles was able to complete such a significant transaction without surrendering Gasol. Bryant is currently with Team USA at the London Olympics.
Sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard that Philadelphia has not spoken to Bynum or his representatives, and has no assurances he will sign a long-term extension with the team.
“The Sixers are willing to take a shot (without Bynum’s commitment),” one source said.
Although Bynum signing an extension with the 76ers is not out of the question, according to a source, his stance all summer has been he only will sign an extension with the Lakers.
Dwight Howard Traded to the Lakers
Bynum, who grew up about an hour away from Philadelphia in Plainsboro, N.J., could sign a three-year, $60 million extension this season or wait to become a free agent after the season and be eligible for a five-year, $102 million deal.
Earlier Thursday, Yahoo! Sports, citing sources, reported that talks of a four-team trade involving Howard have taken place this week and have “grown serious.”
Near the end of July, Howard met with Magic general manager Rob Hennigan and reiterated he still wants to be traded, and if he isn’t, will leave the team as a free agent after next season.
The Lakers’ position on Howard had remained relatively unchanged for the past few months, league sources familiar with the situation told ESPNLosAngeles.com. The Lakers always had been willing to trade for Howard without assurances he’d re-sign with them after the season, believing that once Howard experienced a championship culture, he would want to stay.
All of this Information is from ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard and ESPNLos Angeles.com’s Dave McMenamin and ESPNLos Angeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne was used in this report.
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