That the Orlando Magic are looking to trade franchise cornerstone Dwight Howard is the NBA’s worst-kept secret. What isn’t entirely clear at the moment, is where Howard will end up. According to Yahoo! Sports, the Magic front-office is working on a potential deal with the Lakers, with Andrew Bynum being the key target: “The Lakers and Magic have had talks about a possible deal, and plan to talk further about constructing a trade. No deals are imminent, and the process has remained fluid as teams have begun to inquire with more serious offers for Howard. Sources say there is one other trade scenario for a significant player that intrigues Magic general manager Rob Hennigan, but that target is unclear. Before the Magic would agree to consummate a trade for Bynum, they would need to know they could sign him to a contract extension, sources said. Bynum is entering the final year of his contract in the 2012-13 season. What’s more, Bynum wouldn’t nearly be enough to satisfy Hennigan’s desires for a return on Howard. The Lakers would need to send draft picks and absorb long-term money off the Magic’s payroll, sources said. The Lakers offered Bynum to the Magic for Howard at the March trade deadline, but the deal never materialized because Howard eventually waived his early termination option for this summer, and Orlando pulled Howard off the market. The Magic are in no rush to make a deal for Howard, sources said. Howard is rehabilitating from back surgery in Los Angeles, and it’s unclear whether he would even be ready for the start of the regular season in November. However positively the Magic feel about Bynum, they still need the Lakers to take back one of their expensive veteran contracts – Hedo Turkoglu or Jason Richardson – as part of any proposed trade. With Bynum, Orlando could use cap space to quickly retool its roster around him and become an Eastern Conference. Bynum is coming off his best season for the Lakers, averaging 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds. Still, his immaturity at times still left Lakers coaches and officials unsettled about his disposition to be an every-night dominant player.”
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