The Los Angeles Lakers have reached a four-team trade deal to acquire Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard. The trade also involves the Philadelphia 76ers and the Denver Nuggets.
ESPN 's Marc Stein broke the story Thursday night. The Lakers will get Dwight Howard. The Denver Nuggets will acquire Andre Iguodala. The Philadelphia 76ers will get Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson, and the Orlando Magic will receive Arron Affalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, and a protected future first-round pick from the other 3 teams involved in the deal.
A source told Stein that the Magic will also be getting the Sixers #1 draft pick Moe Harkless.
Pending the NBA's approval, the deal can become official as soon as Friday, The AP reports.
A conference call about the trade involving team representatives and league officials is scheduled for Friday.
There were many rumors surrounding Lakers forward Pau Gasol, but he was not included in the deal, ESPN reports.
Kobe Bryant is reportedly "ecstatic" that the Lakers were able to acquire Howard without having to give up Gasol.
Although Howard, 26, had back surgery in April and had to miss the playoffs, he is still considered the best center in the NBA, the LA Times reports.
Howard is a 6-time All-Star, and was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year for 3 years in a row until his back injury.
Initially, Howard wanted to play for the Brooklyn Nets, ESPN reports, but a deal couldn't be reached. He added the Dallas Mavericks and LA Lakers to his list of preferred teams.
According to the LA Times, Howard does not intend to sign a contract extension, which will make him a free agent in 2013.
If he is happy with the Lakers, Howard will be able to sign to a 5 year, $117.9 contract with them. If he chooses to go to another team, he would get a max deal of 4 years for $87.591.
The Lakers are pretty confident that ultimately, Howard will elect to sign a new deal with them next year.
Meanwhile, sources told ESPN's Chris Broussard that as of Thursday evening, the Sixers had not talked to Andrew Bynum or his representatives.
"The Sixers are willing to take a shot (without Bynum's commitment)," one source reportedly told Broussard.
Bynum has made it clear all summer that he wouldn't sign an extension with any team other than the Lakers, but the Sixers are still hopeful he will decide to sign an extension with them.