According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, the most-talked about man in basketball of late might not be going anywhere:
The Orlando Magic have told rival executives that they might not trade Dwight Howard after all, according to league sources.
An executive who has had discussions with the Magic regarding Howard said Orlando only will trade the star center in a deal that is great for the franchise. The executive said this has been Orlando's stance for the past "week or so."
Broussard goes on to say that the Magic could wait until the February trade deadline to move the disgruntled face of the franchise.
This is all very bad news for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The organization has put Andrew Bynum on the market in its quest to bring in Howard (via ESPN), and if they are unable to make a swap come to fruition, there are going to be problems in Los Angeles this upcoming season.
We've already seen Bynum exhibit plenty of maturity issues so far in his career with the Lakers, and it wouldn't be surprising to see things get much worse.
When a player hears his name in trade talks, it has an impact on his psyche. That issue could be exacerbated given Bynum's past issues and personality.
For everything that has been made of the chances of Howard signing a contract extension if he wound up with the Lakers, there hasn't been much talk about what Bynum might do after next season.
What if Bynum decides that he doesn't want to sign an extension with the Lakers because the organization was looking to trade him? Maybe he'll want to sign a new deal with a team that he believes wants him over all others.
Not only that, but if this prospective trade doesn't work out, the Lakers would be starting the season on the wrong foot. Lakers fans have been waiting for this trade to happen for the last few weeks, and if it doesn't, there will be a large contingent that is disappointed.
The longer this deal takes to go through, the better chance Howard has of ending up with the team that he wanted to all along—the Brooklyn Nets.
Broussard also added this in his piece:
If the Magic start the season with Howard, his preferred destination of Brooklyn once again becomes a possible landing spot. The Nets recently signed center Brook Lopez, who would presumably be the centerpiece of a Brooklyn-Orlando trade for Howard. Lopez is not eligible to be traded until Jan. 15, a full month before the trade deadline.
So if Howard doesn't sign a contract extension with Orlando before the deadline -- and if the Lakers or Rockets haven't been able to acquire him by then -- the Nets would perhaps emerge as the front-runner once again.
Los Angeles' chances of bringing in Howard decline day-by-day. Whether this trade becomes reality may not be up to the Lakers, but it won't bode well for next season if it doesn't.