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Magic, Lakers, 76ers, Nuggets talking Dwight Howard trade

By Ben Golliver | Blogger
Dwight Howard trade talks are heating up again. (Getty Images)

I don't care if it takes Disney World, Disney Land, the Liberty Bell and Pike's Peak, get it done already.

The Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets are reportedly engaged in 4-way trade talks concerning Dwight Howard, according to Yahoo Sports, but a deal is "[not] imminent."

There are multiple moving parts in the fluid talks, but the framework of a possible deal includes Howard and Denver forward Al Harrington going to the Lakers, Philadelphia guard Andre Iguodala going to the Nuggets, Los Angeles center Andrew Bynum moving to the 76ers, and Los Angeles forward Pau Gasol and Denver guard Arron Affalo going to the Magic, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The proposed deal includes the Magic also gaining draft picks and salary-cap relief, sources said.

SI.com has confirmed the talks, citing a source, and offered the following quote from Magic CEO Alex Martins from earlier in the week.

"We have very specific goals as to what we would hope to achieve if we were to trade Dwight, OK?" said Martins. "We acknowledge and are realistic about the fact that you're never going to get equal value in return for Dwight Howard. But if we were to trade him, we have three primary goals that we're trying to achieve and in the end, any deal that's proposed to us I think we've been very clear about the fact about the goals of what we're trying to achieve.

"We have never delineated from that. Some may think that we have, but we have not. Clearly, when we find the right combination of pieces that we're looking for in return, that will determine whether we make a deal or not."

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports on Thursday evening that the 4-team trade talks are "progressing" and that there is "guarded optimism" that the complicated "could be consummated," although the complicated, multi-team framework and past history of trade scenarios collapsing means that this remains an exercise in caution. Berger also confirms that Bynum would be sent to the 76ers in the "most likely scenario" but reports that Gasol would not be headed to the Magic.

Also on Thursday, ESPN.com reported that the trade was "very close" to being completed and, later, that the teams had scheduled a phone call with the NBA league office to "process" the deal. The site also reported that the Lakers might not be including Gasol in the trade talks.

Meanwhile, Yahoo Sports further reported that 76ers center Nikola Vucevic would be routed to the Magic and that, in one of the trade's scenarios, the Magic could send guard Jason Richardson to the Lakers.

Howard publicly requested a trade last season and even gave a list of preferred destinations to Magic management. He later underwent season-ending back surgery that forced him to miss the playoffs and Orlando opted to fire coach Stan Van Gundy and part ways with GM Otis Smith. In their place, the Magic hired Jacque Vaughn and Rob Hennigan.

Back in July, RealGM.com and ESPN.com reported that Howard would be willing to sign a long-term extension with the Lakers.

Howard, 26, is a 6-time All-Star, 3-time Defensive Player of the Year, 5-time All-NBA first-team selection and 4-time All-Defensive first-team selection. He averaged 20.6 points, 14.5 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, 1.9 assists, 1.5 steals and shot 57.3 percent from the field in 54 games last season.

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