With Chris Paul traded to LA Clippers, could Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard be headed to LA Lakers?
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ORLANDO -- With Chris Paul going from the New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Clippers, could Dwight Howard be on his way from the Orlando Magic to the crosstown rival Los Angeles Lakers? Not anytime soon if the Magic ownership has its way.
“I don’t think there’s anything on the table that won’t be on the table three months from now,” Magic General Manager Otis Smith told the Orlando Sentinel in a story published online at 6:04 p.m. Smith stopped short of saying the Magic won't trade Howard anytime soon: “We're still exploring all opportunities. Our first opportunity is to keep him in a Magic uniform.”
In the meantime, perennial All-Star Chris Paul's trade from the New Oleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Clippers earlier today has sent shock waves throughout the NBA because of the crosstown rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Paul was originally going to the Lakers, but the league stepped in and nixed it. The Lakers then pulled out of a second trade attempt with Paul that would have sent Pau Gasol to the Hornets. Instead, the Lakers sent Lamar Odom to the Houston Rockets for draft picks.
However, the Lakers still have Gasol and Andrew Bynum, another big man, to offer the Magic in exchange for Howard, considered the best pure center in the NBA.
The Magic have until the March trade deadline to ship out Howard and still get something back. He could opt out of his contract in July as un unrestricted free agent. Another scenario is Howard agreeing to a long-term contract.
Over the weekend Howard made it known he was interested in a trade to the Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks or the New Jersey Nets. But on Monday, Howard softened his stance.
With Mavs center Tyson Chandler leaving as a free agent and signing with the Knicks, Odom fits in nicely for the defending NBA champions, though Howard would be a major upgrade. Dallas also picked up Vince Carter, waived last week by the Phoenix Suns.
Should the New Jersey Nets come into play, Brooke Lopez and draft picks would come Orlando's way for Howard, though such a trade might require several teams in play to make for enough moving parts.
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