In July of 1996, the Los Angeles Lakers stole a 24-year old Shaquille O’Neal away from the Orlando Magic. 17 years later (or, prior to the 2012-13 season), the Lakers might have the opportunity to break the Magic’s hearts yet again. According to a tweet from ESPN analyst Ric Bucher, sources say that if Orlando does not win a championship within the next two years, superstar center Dwight Howard is reportedly interested in a change of scenery; more specifically, a relocation to Hollywood.
Although it’s unlikely to see Howard, the two-time defending Defensive Player of the Year, go on record with similar statements, Laker fans can’t help but wish for a healthy dose of déjà vu with an Orlando Magic big man. Seeing as Kobe Bryant will be 34 by the time Howard becomes a free-agent, the Lakers will most certainly be looking for their next face of the franchise.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, they are currently on the books for $69 million for the 2012-13 season, which means that a sign-and-trade is the only financially plausible way that a Howard to Los Angeles move could occur.