The Dwight Howard fiasco in Orlando has fueled endless speculation regarding the possibility of him suiting up for the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a roster that would be practically guaranteed to make a deep playoff run.
The fans certainly seem enamored with the idea of having the best defensive player in the game as part of their starting five, and Howard himself seems open to receiving the level of stardom that only a team like the Lakers can provide.
Howard is so open to the idea, in fact, that he is perfectly willing to sign a long-term extension with Los Angeles if a deal gets done (according to ESPN).
But the collective desire for a trade between Howard and the fans is not enough. The Lakers and the Magic are the ones who need to see eye-to-eye for the move to happen, which is not looking likely.
Meanwhile, Howard has made it painfully clear that he is unwilling to play another game for the Magic, but the team is unwilling to do him any favors and they want him present for the upcoming season.
The Lakers have zero desperation with Bynum on the roster, and the Magic are unwilling to deal, so it's obvious that the Lakers will move on at some point.
But if the Lakers reach an extension with Bynum, is that the end of the Howard trade?
Is Dwight Howard still an option?
All the extension will do is ensure that Bynum is under contract. If an agreement is made, it doesn't necessarily mean that the Lakers are completely dedicated to Bynum and uninterested in alternatives.
The fact that Bynum would be under contract actually makes him more valuable. If he's traded to the Magic, they won't be forced to go through more contract drama a year from now.
In reality, the interest is dwindling, maybe even gone permanently. The Lakers have seemingly moved on, or at least that's the impression they're giving off.
But the possibility is still alive.