Once the news broke of yet another trade rumor involving Dwight Howard heading to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, most Lakers fans and NBA analysts wrote it off as speculation and a deal that would never come to fruition.
Fortunately, the four-team deal including the Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets and Orlando Magic may be the be closer to being made than any other proposal we’ve heard this summer.
Apparently, the deal is so close to being made that multiple sources are claiming that Howard might be traded to Los Angeles as early as Friday.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com claims the deal is “progressing” moving forward:
Four-team talks that would send Dwight Howard to the Lakers are “progressing,” a league source tells
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) August 10, 2012
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith was confident enough in the proposed blockbuster trade sending Howard to L.A. that he believes it is a done deal unless there’s a last minute snag:
Barring any last minute snag, D-Howard will be a Laker by tomorrow. Bynum will be in Philly. And we’ll all expect a Lakers/Heat Finals.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) August 10, 2012
It appears that the Lakers may be on the verge of acquiring another superstar center to follow in the line of Hall of Famer centers George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal.
Although it may be premature to add Howard to the list of these Laker greats that dominated the paint in their era, the addition of the three-time Defensive Player of the Year is potentially a giant step in the right direction for Los Angeles.
One of the biggest questions surrounding this potential blockbuster trade is the fate of Pau Gasol. With initial reports claiming Gasol will be dealt to the Magic in this deal and possibly flipped to another team immediately after, Kobe Bryant’s comments about Gasol’s future in Los Angeles may have been false.
Fortunately, the Lakers still may be able to pull off this game-changing trade without including the two-time NBA champion. According to Ric Bucher of ESPN.com, Gasol may not be involved in this deal:
Source close to Pau Gasol: Spaniard is not in the proposed 4-team deal that would bring DHoward to Lakers.
— Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) August 9, 2012
It remains to be seen if Gasol is ultimately included in the deal. If so, the Lakers will have to go in another direction at power forward by considering Jordan Hill or Antawn Jamison for the starting role next season.
Forward Al Harrington might also get some consideration for the position if added in the deal.