Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard could be swapping coasts, with Bynum headed to Cleveland or Orlando and Howard headed to the Lakers. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Dwight Howard is reportedly ready to join the Lakers and would re-sign long-term if the Orlando Magic traded him to Los Angeles, according to a tweet from Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com, whose report was confirmed Thursday morning by ESPN.com:
Magic center Dwight Howard signaled that if he is traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, he would be prepared to sign a long-term extension after the 2012-13 NBA season, the basketball website RealGM.com reported Wednesday. Two sources confirmed to ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard that Howard is willing to re-sign long term with the Lakers if Orlando trades him there.
The deal that seems to be picking up steam would send Howard to the Lakers, Bynum to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Cavs' Anderson Varejao, draft picks and "cap relief" to the Magic.
But the snag in the trade is still the uncertainty of whether a team would give up assets for the mere chance at re-signing Bynum to a long-term deal. Bynum, who becomes a free agent next summer, has reportedly been reluctant to say he'd sign a long-term deal with the Cavs, Houston Rockets or Magic, opting instead to test the free-agent market in Summer 2013, according to the report:
Although Bynum has not completely ruled out playing with the Magic, sources said, he will not sign an extension with them, and instead will wait until after the season to potentially test the free-agent market.