At this point, just about everyone knows that Dwight Howard wants out of Orlando. And at this point, basically no one knows where he is going.
For a long time it looked like the Brooklyn Nets were going to do whatever it took to get Howard, but they made a deadline by which they wanted to finish the deal and the deadline has passed.
Several teams have had at least some interest, but the Magic are going to make sure that they get what they think is a fair deal before they let Howard go.
Howard, who signed a one-year option this past season, has said that the only team he would re-sign with is Brooklyn. That statement has kept some teams away, while others are willing to risk having him for just one season, hoping to convince him otherwise.
It has been confusing, and it seems like it could drag on even longer. Someone will eventually come up with the right price for Howard, but the question is who? Here are the teams that seem to be the most likely to get Howard.
As soon as it was reported that the Brooklyn Nets were out of trade talks for Dwight Howard, the Los Angeles Lakers stepped in.
According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the Lakers were discussing a trade with Orlando that would send Dwight Howard to L.A. in return for Andrew Bynum. In order to fix some of the smaller issues in the deal, the Houston Rockets stepped in to help make a three-team trade.
The Lakers have several good players, like Bynum and Pau Gasol, that they could move in order to try and get Howard. The issue for the Lakers is working out with Orlando what the best value would be for both teams while still making Houston happy.
Also, the Lakers would have a better chance of re-signing Howard after the season than any other team except for Brooklyn. They play in a huge media market with a lot of off-the-court perks and potential.
They just need to convince Howard.
Despite the fact that the Brooklyn Nets set a deadline to sign Howard and missed it, they still are one of the favorites to land Howard.
The biggest thing that the Nets have going for them is that they are the only team Howard said he would re-sign with. Because of that, they can afford to offer Orlando a lot more than anybody else.
Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reported last week that the Nets were trying to work out a three- or four-team trade with Orlando, the Cleveland Cavaliers and potentially the Charlotte Bobcats. However, it was obvious that the logistics of such a complicated trade held up the talks.
However, with Brook Lopez and the Nets agreeing to a four-year, $61 million deal, the biggest issue with a potential sign-and-trade has been taken care of.
It will be interesting to see if the Nets go back on their word of being out of the Howard trade talks. I would if I were them, as Howard is the difference between them being a No. 7 or 8 seed in the playoffs versus being the No. 2 seed.
The Houston Rockets have a chance to help Howard get to the Lakers, but they also have a chance to just get him and keep him.
According to David Aldridge via NBA.com, the Rockets and Magic were working on a deal that would send Howard to Houston for one of their first-round pick, a veteran and a future first-round pick. With Scola amnestied, they'd be open to picking up one Magic bad contract, such as the ones of Chris Duhon, Glen Davis and Jason Richardson.
The Rockets made a lot of moves around the NBA draft, and getting Howard was a big reason for that. They would have a hard time convincing him to stay, but they would also be able to use him in a trade if they couldn't convince him to stay.
It is even possible that they could trade with Orlando for him, and then send him to the Lakers on their own terms instead of making the three-team trade.
Whatever happens, the Rockets are a team to watch, as they have a lot of young pieces that they can trade.
Yea, my head hurts too. After all of the chaos is done, Howard could still end up with the Orlando Magic.
Howard is the best big man in the game, and because of that Orlando has a very high price for him. Also, he technically isn't a free agent, although that is what it feels like. He is still signed to a one-year option instead of being a free agent this offseason, which has everyone, including Howard himself, scratching their heads.
According to Ric Bucher of ESPN, Magic GM Rob Hennigan called Howard to ask if he would reconsider his trade request. Howard said no, but since he is under contract with the team, they don't have to trade him.
Honestly, I think they will end up taking the best offer they can get and trading him even if it isn't as good an offer as they want. But they have held on to him this long, and he is still a member of the Magic, so that has to count for something.