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The Early Lead
Posted at 04:35 PM ET, 07/17/2012

Report: Lakers discussing Dwight Howard deal with Magic. Again.


To this point the multiple Dwight Howard trade offers have failed to hit the mark for the Magic. (Chris Trotman - GETTY IMAGES)
The Los Angeles Lakers are making a final push to land Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard in a trade after repeated trade discussion breakdowns between the two sides in recent weeks.

According to Yahoo’s, Marc Spears, representatives from the Lakers and Magic met Tuesday to discuss a possible trade for the six-time all-star.

The Lakers and Rockets are believed to be the only legitimate trade destinations after the New Jersey Nets reportedly ceased their efforts to create a trade package that would meet Orlando’s needs.

A deal with Los Angeles would likely be built around all-star center Andrew Bynum, who at 24, is two years younger than Howard but has yet to maximize the potential many believe he possesses.

The Magic temporarily shelved negotiations involving Howard last week to focus on addressing their head coaching vacancy. The Orlando Sentinel reported Monday that the team has narrowed its candidate list down to three: Michael Curry, Lindsay Hunter and Jacque Vaughn.

Contract extension commitments appear to be a major hang up on both ends of a Howard-for-Bynum swap as the Magic are concerned about Bynum’s willingness to sign a long term deal to remain in Orlando after he becomes a free agent next summer. The same scenario applies for Howard in L.A. The Magic are also said to be interested in acquiring multiple first-round picks and young players, which could provide them more flexibility going forward than trying to build around another center in Bynum.

ESPN.com cited a source close to the trade talks who said while discussions are “ongoing,” a trade would be “very difficult to pull off.”

The Lakers, who this offseason already landed veteran all-star point guard Steve Nash in a sign-and-trade with Phoenix, could also be close to signing veterans Antawn Jamison and Jermaine O’Neal, according to Spears.

The Rockets remain in the mix and last week freed up more salary cap space by using amnesty on big man Luis Scola.

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Reports: Dwight Howard trade talks now include Lakers, Rockets

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