Dwight Howard to the Lakers? Not so fast


So the Orlando Magic are interested in Lakers center Andrew Bynum?

It’s not necessarily a mutual romance.

According to a Yahoo! Sports report, the Magic have targeted Bynum in a potential trade for unhappy center Dwight Howard, who has been rumored to land on too many teams to count since last season began.

But the Lakers have a growing list of concerns about Howard, according to a person with knowledge of the team’s thinking.


How’s that bulging disk in his back, the one that required surgery and forced him to miss the playoffs?

Will he actually sign a contract extension after indicating privately he does not want to play for the Lakers? The Lakers currently won’t accept a trade for him without getting more years tacked on to the one he has left (for $19.5 million).

Will he calm down? His demeanor irritated Orlando fans and led to nationwide criticism on how not to engineer one’s departure from a team.

The Lakers have no desire to take back additional salary in a trade for Howard. The Magic would want the Lakers to absorb small forward Hedo Turkoglu (two more years, $23.8 million) or shooting guard Jason Richardson (three more years, $18.6 million).

Turkoglu, by the way, is 33 years old. Richardson is 31.

Remember, these are the Lakers that let Lamar Odom go to Dallas for next to nothing and haven’t exactly thrown cash at Ramon Sessions to re-sign their starting point guard in the first few days of free agency.

Finally, Orlando would have to make a financial commitment as well. Bynum wants assurance he is not a one-season rental. He has one more year and $16.1 million remaining on his contract. The Magic better be prepared to pay him now…or lose him in 12 months.

Howard to the Lakers? Not impossible. Just improbable.


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