Dwight Howard Ready to Sign Extension With Lakers if Traded?

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

The Dwightmare is far from over, but it is one step closer to some kind of resolution. Reportedly, anyway.

Having long resisted the idea of playing in Los Angeles — due to concerns about hooping alongside Kobe Bryant, and in the shadow of Shaquille O’Neal’s legacy — Dwight Howard is said to have finally come around.

According to RealGM and ESPN, Howard is now willing to sign a long-term contract extension with the Lakers should they manage to trade for him:

Dwight Howard has long coveted the Brooklyn Nets as his next landing spot, but after a summer filled with daily rumors of four-team trade proposals, the six-time All-Star has moved on from his Big Apple infatuation and is locked in on joining the Los Angeles Lakers, sources say. The Lakers, Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly discussing a three-team trade that would send Howard to the Lakers, Andrew Bynum to the Cavaliers, while the Magic would receive Anderson Varejao and multiple draft picks.

The Lakers are reportedly ready to make the trade, but first need assurance from Howard that he will commit to the team long-term. Sources say Howard is “excited” about the opportunity to play for the Lakers and will re-sign with the team when his contract expires at the end of the 2012-13 season.

Regardless of Dwight’s change of heart about playing in Hollywood, the Orlando Magic are still in no rush to get rid of Howard — nor should they be, despite how grating this whole saga has been for everyone.

The Magic front-office will wait for as long as humanly possible until the right deal materializes for the NBA’s best center, and that could take a while.

Dwight Howard has been in Los Angeles ever since he had back surgery, doing rehab and attending baseball games, and should the stars align, he might be staying there for a long time.