Dwight Howard is willing to sign a long-term extension with the Lakers if the Magic decide to ship him to Los Angeles, according to ESPN.com.
Obviously, this doesn't mean a trade is imminent, as we're left with teams still trying to pry Howard away from Orlando. But it's the first indication from Howard that he'd be willing to re-up long-term with a team besides the Nets upon being traded.
The Lakers are ready and eager to trade for Howard while dealing away Andrew Bynum, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard, but the Magic are holding up the deal and will do so until they receive a deal they like.
The Lakers reportedly were willing to trade for Howard without assurances that he'd sign a long-term deal, confident that playing in a championship environment would help convince him to stay when he's slated to hit the open market after this season. If L.A. could lock him up long-term immediately upon completion of a deal, however, that's an added bonus to landing the game's most dominant big man.
A major hold-up is whether or not Bynum would sign a long-term deal with Orlando. Howard's newfound willingness is nice, but unless Bynum is willing to provide some of his own assurances, this song and dance will continue.