Dwight Howard Rumors: Lakers Trade Unlikely Without Guaranteed Extension

The Los Angeles Lakers would love to deal for Dwight Howard. Other than LeBron James, the Orlando Magic superstar is the closest thing to a sure thing to dominate the league for most of the next decade. He's a great defender and gives players fits regardless of where he is on the court.

However, there are issues to trading for him. While the Lakers do have the pieces, it's quite possible that Howard might not stick around after this year. Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld has this report.

The Lakers could offer the most compatible package of assets in exchange for Howard, especially if a third team were involved. However sources close to the situation said that Howard to L.A. would require a commitment to stay beyond this year and Howard is not ready to do that for anyone.

That could always change in the next 17 days, but sources were adamant that having the option to choose and shape your situation surfaces only a few times in a players’ career and Howard is not giving that up because of the impatience of other teams, including Orlando.

It's potentially the Kobe Bryant issue that would keep Howard from signing. There's also the fact that the Lakers might totally gut their overall depth and make it harder for them to compete long-term for titles. The Lakers will attract plenty of talent to LA (they are the Lakers, after all), but with so much money tied into a slowly aging Bryant, how likely is Los Angeles to compete for a championship?

If Howard is to be traded, the New Jersey Nets are by far the most likely deal. But without a guaranteed contract extension in place, it's unlikely that Dwight will get traded at all. Why pick up a two-month rental that might not even get you in the playoffs? The Magic are stuck in an almost untenable position where they have to deal someone who won't even acquiesce to give the team he's traded to any sort of guarantee he'll stick around.

To discuss Howard and the Magic, check out Orlando Pinstriped Post. To talk about Howard and the Lakers, go to Silver Screen and Roll. To talk about Howard and the Nets, go to Nets Daily.

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