This means that the Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as frontrunners in a potential deal that would send the all-star center to Tinseltown.
Though Howard is insistent that he would only sign an extension with the Nets, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak is confident that if the team can acquire him, they can convince him to sign an extension.
Andrew Bynum would be the key component of any deal to land Howard in Los Angeles, as Bynum is arguably the second-best center in the league behind Howard despite only being 25-years-old.
However, Bynum will be a free agent in 2013, and Sports Illustrated has reported that Bynum may not sign an extension with the Magic if traded to Orlando.
According to Bucher, the Houston Rockets are still in play to acquire a big man. They are still pursuing Howard but would even facilitate a deal that would help bring Howard to Los Angeles if Andrew Bynum would land in Houston.
The only issue with Bynum in Orlando would be a possible repeat of the scenario that the team is in with Howard. If Bynum does not commit to an extension in Orlando, the Magic may be dealing again.