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Lakers Rumors: LA Must Use Patience to Score Dwight Howard in Three-Team Trade

Alex KayCorrespondent IJuly 24, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 11:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic reacts in the third quarter of Game Four of the 2009 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers on June 11, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have not yet given up on acquiring Dwight Howard, but it seems that nothing will take place in the imminent future. However, the team should be perfectly content with that scenario.

According to Sam Amico of Sports Illustrated:

Source familiar with Lakers-Cavs-Magic talks says potential trade not dead, but in holding pattern. Teams seem to be weighing options, with Magic, in particular, seeing what else might be out there.

The longer the Magic wait, the more potential suitors are inclined to give up their dreams of acquiring DH12.

It’s already happened with the Brooklyn Nets—who effectively bowed out of the Howard sweepstakes by re-signing Brook Lopez—and it will likely happen to the Houston Rockets, the only other serious contender for the superstar center.

Los Angeles, who will likely need to involve a third party due to their inability to trade their own first-round picks (due to the Steve Nash trade/Ted Stepien Clause), currently has the best trade package to offer and it will be tough for anyone to top.

Before talks stalled, the Lakers and Cavaliers were in negotiations that would have sent Andrew Bynum to Cleveland, Anderson Varejao and a package of first-rounders to Orlando and, of course, Howard to Los Angeles.

That basic framework would also involve the Magic shedding a lot of bad contracts and basically putting the pieces in place to completely rebuild their team over the next few seasons.

Considering that Orlando will have to do that regardless of whether they trade DH12 or not (he’s going to leave for nothing as a free-agent next summer if GM Rob Hennigan does not work a deal out), the Lakers are the franchise that may benefit from waiting.

Eventually, Hennigan and the rest of the Magic's brass are going to realize they have to ditch Dwight or risk hamstringing the franchise’s future for many years. They cannot keep him on the roster in an ill-advised hope to re-sign him before the 2013 offseason.

That is when they will start becoming more receptive to less attractive deals on the table and the Lakers can capitalize by landing the superstar center for pennies on the dollar.  

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