Evans Clinchy
Monday March 12th, 2012

With the NBA trade deadline approaching, the Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks remain the leading candidates to pry Dwight Howard away from the Orlando Magic in the next four days. But according to Ken Berger of CBS, the Magic have been unimpressed with those three teams' offers and are beginning to consider other trade options -- most notably, a blockbuster with the Chicago Bulls.

Berger reports that Chicago "could offer" Omer Asik, Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer for Howard and Hedo Turkoglu. The Bulls also own a Charlotte Bobcats draft pick that could be used to sweeten the pot.

The big hangup, of course, is that Chicago is not on Howard's uber-exclusive list of landing spots where he'd sign an extension, and the Bulls are obviously thus reluctant to dismantle their team for him. Sources tell Berger that Chicago and Orlando have spoken, but there's "no type of serious discussions" going on.

Nevertheless, this blockbuster possibility is something to keep an eye on in the coming days -- if nothing else, it raises the stakes and forces the three frontrunners to up their offers for the superstar big man. The trade deadline is at 3 p.m. Eastern on Thursday.

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