As the Dwight Howard saga drags on, the Los Angeles Lakers have stepped up in a serious way offering star centre, Andrew Bynum in a potential package to the Orlando Magic in return for Howard.
The Magic are in discussions with several teams about potential trades involving Howard, with the Nets considered to be one of the front-runners at the moment. ESPN.com reported Tuesday morning that the Nets and Magic were discussing a deal that would send Howard and forward Hedo Turkoglu to Brooklyn for center Brook Lopez, forward Kris Humphries, guard MarShon Brooks and three future first-round Draft picks. However, yesterday the Nets traded for a high salary in Joe Johnson, which will surely limit their ability to sign Howard to a mega deal.
The Lakers may have a more appealing trade to offer, as Bynum represents a solid replacement for Howard. Bynum, similar to Howard is a free agent in 2013 meaning that the Magic would need to know that he will sign if traded to Orlando. During the trade deadline in March, the Lakers offered Bynum to the Magic for Howard, but the deal never materialized because Howard eventually waived his early termination option for this summer, and Orlando pulled Howard off the market.
The circumstances are different now since Howard has openly stated that he will not return to the Magic, while the Lakers offer may end up being the most rewarding of all.
If the Nets can land Deron Williams and somehow clear out cap space or trade Joe Johnson in order to acquire Dwight Howard than the Nets will once again have a chance to become one of the top teams in the NBA. The Magic are in no rush to make a deal as they want to get the best return possible for Howard, therefore there is no timetable for when he will be traded.
In other NBA news, the Toronto Raptors have reached an agreement to sign Knicks guard Landry Fields to a 3 year offer sheet worth $19 million. The move is seen as a means to prevent the Knicks from completing a sign and trade for the highly coveted Steve Nash. Fields was one of the players rumored to be involved in a deal to acquire Nash, however with the Raptors making an offer that is tough to match, the Knicks may either have to trade a more valuable piece to acquire Nash or sign Fields for big money, which will hurt their chances of signing Nash.
Bryan Colangelo, GM of the Toronto Raptors, appears to be going all in for Steve Nash. If he can land both Fields and the Canadian point guard, the Raptors will be in great shape to contend for a playoff spot next season.