Report: Howard dealt to Lakers
Multiple sources told ESPN on Thursday night that a deal sending star center Dwight Howard from Orlando to the Lakers in a four-team swap is complete.
In the monster trade, the Nuggets acquire Andre Iguodala, the 76ers receive Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson, and the Magic get Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, and one protected future first-round pick from each of the three other teams. In addition, the Magic will receive other pieces including the Sixers’ top draft pick, Moe Harkless.
According to ESPN.com, sources close to the process told Marc Stein and ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne that a trade call with the league office is scheduled for Friday in order to secure the necessary approval to make the deal official.
Lakers forward Pau Gasol had been in and out of talks, sources told Shelburne, before ultimately being excluded.
One source briefed on Howard’s plans told Stein the All-Star center will indeed stand firm on his intent to play out the 2012-13 season without extending his contract so he can become a free agent on July 1, 2013. Going that route will enable Howard to decide how comfortable he is in Los Angeles before deciding whether to re-sign with the Lakers or join the Dallas Mavericks, who will have the requisite salary cap space to sign Howard and remain one of his preferred destinations from his original list of three teams (Brooklyn Nets, Lakers and Mavericks).
“If Los Angeles doesn’t work out for Dwight, Dallas will be there waiting for him,’’ the source told Stein.
One source close to Kobe Bryant, meanwhile, told Stein the Lakers star was ecstatic Thursday upon hearing the Lakers completed such a significant transaction without surrendering Gasol.
Sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard that Philadelphia has not spoken to Bynum or his representatives and has no assurances he will sign a long-term extension.
“The Sixers are willing to take a shot [without Bynum’s commitment],’’ one source said.
Although Bynum signing an extension with the 76ers is not out of the question, according to a source, his stance all summer has been he only would sign an extension with LA.
Bynum, who grew up about an hour from Philadelphia in Plainsboro, N.J., could sign a three-year, $60 million extension this season or wait to become a free agent after the season and be eligible for a five-year, $102 million deal.
Near the end of last month, Howard met with Magic general manager Rob Hennigan and reiterated his desire to be traded or he would leave as a free agent after next season.
The Bucks signed free agent center Joel Przybilla. It will be his second stint with Milwaukee. The 32-year-old has averaged 4 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in 580 career games . . . . . . Minnesota’s second-round draft pick, forward Robbie Hummel, will play in Europe rather than the NBA next season. Hummel told the Lafayette (Ind.) Journal and Courier he agreed to a deal with El Obradoiro, which plays in Spain’s top professional league . . . . . . The Wizards named former Celtic Jerry Sichting, 55, an assistant coach.