After a year now of waffling and flip-flopping there appears to be some momentum for the Dwight Howard situation to finally be resolved (for Orlando at least) with as many as 3 teams now tendering offers for the All-NBA center.
The Nets are still offering a package built around Brook Lopez and fillers, with the ability to absorb some of Orlando’s bad contracts in the trade. However, the latest offer was dependent on Cleveland taking Kris Humphries back in a sign-and-trade to facilitate the trade, but the Cavaliers have recently backed out due to fears that they would be creating another Eastern Conference “super-team”. The Nets bid for Howard is said to be on “life support” at the moment, but what with Howard’s stated desire to play for Brooklyn over any other team, they should still be considered to be in with a shout.
Today, it has been reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com that the Lakers and Rockets are involved in trade talks with the Magic. Strangely, the Rockets are involved in proposals that would send Howard to LA as well. While Bynum is highly coveted by the Magic, they are worried that Bynum would not agree to sign an extension with Orlando. Bynum has, however, mentioned Houston as one of the teams he would consider in free agency next year, so talks are currently underway for a trade that would send Howard to the Lakers and Bynum to the Rockets (with a package built around Houston’s prospects, draft picks and expiring contracts heading to Orlando).
The teams are also engaged in talks for direct trades between the clubs with no third party to facilitate (i.e. a trade sending Howard directly to the Rockets). Stein also tweeted that the Hawks believe they are still alive in the Howard sweepstakes.
ESPN’s Chad Ford tweeted a pretty succinct summation of the packages on offer at the moment:
If Magic want best player? Lakers best partner. Best package of players? Hawks. Want to blow it up? Rockets. None of the above? Nets
— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) July 10, 2012
UPDATE: it appears that the 3-team scenarios have died out (for now). Focus turned to direct talks for Howard.
Rockets remain strongly engaged w/ Orlando in direct talks for Dwight Howard, sources tell Y! They’ve spent little time on 3-way scenarios.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 11, 2012