The Magic, Lakers and Rockets have had preliminary discussions about a deal that would involve sending Howard to Los Angeles, Andrew Bynum to Houston and prospects, first-round picks and significant cap relief to Orlando, according to HOOPSWORLD’s Eric Pincus. ESPN’s Marc Stein has confirmed the report.
There’s still plenty that would need to be worked out before a trade could be consummated, though. Brooklyn is still in hot pursuit of Howard, Houston would likely have to work out a long-term deal with Bynum and take on one of Orlando’s poor contracts and the Lakers may be hesitant to pull the trigger without a long-term commitment from Howard.
There are some other factors that make it seem like such a deal is crazy enough to work. The Magic aren’t in love with the idea of giving Bynum or Brook Lopez a sizable, long-term deal, and draft picks and prospects are believed to be more appealing to them. Bynum has reportedly expressed privately that he’d be willing to stay in Houston long-term. And the Lakers would be landing the deal’s big fish.
Obviously, nothing is imminent, especially with Houston reportedly still discussing potential 1-on-1 trade scenarios with Orlando. However, it’s one more thing to keep an eye on in this — what appears to be unending — saga.