|Dwight Howard has reportedly requested a trade. (Getty Images)|
Everyone please get back in line for the 1,000th time.
The Orlando Magic are reportedly re-opening trade talks concerning All-Star center Dwight Howard with the 2012 Free Agency moratorium now open.
Yahoo Sports reports on Sunday that the Magic, led by new GM Rob Hennigan, have gotten the ball rolling with the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets, two teams that have been linked with interest in Howard going back to last season.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic have had preliminary contact about a possible deal for All-Star center Dwight Howard, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Orlando officials are willing to discuss trades for Howard, and the Lakers have been one of the teams in touch with them over the weekend, sources said. The Brooklyn Nets and Houston Rockets have also talked to Magic officials, sources said.
On Saturday, reports surfaced that Howard had requested a trade to the Brooklyn Nets in a meeting with Hennigan, who just stepped into the job last week.
Howard, of course, is entering the final year of his contract after opting in for 2012-13 at last year's trade deadline. His trade value hinges on whether he would sign an extension with the trade partner. If he's willing to commit long-term, he's about as valuable of a player as there is in the NBA, outside of LeBron James and Kevin Durant, even after undergoing season-ending back surgery this spring. If he continues to waffle on his future and refuses to commit to an interested party, he represents a giant risk and his value diminishes significantly.
As such, the best case scenario for all involved is for Orlando to work out a deal with one of Howard's preferred destinations or for Howard to finally chill out and just agree to extend with any team nice enough to still have interest after his year's worth of shenanigans. Back in December, Howard's list was said to include the Nets, Lakers and Dallas Mavericks.
Given Howard's $19.5 million contract in 2012-13, any Lakers offer would almost certainly need to include either center Andrew Bynum ($16.9 million) or forward Pau Gasol ($19 million). The Rockets have the expiring contract of Kevin Martin, cap space and a bunch of smaller contracts and assets (Kyle Lowry, picks, etc.) to put together in a package.
Howard, 26, averaged 20.6 points, 14.5 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, 1.9 assists and 1.0 steals in 38.3 minutes per game for the Magic last season. He made his sixth All-Star Game and was named first team All-NBA and first team All-Defensive.