So, has Dwight Howard finally made up his mind?
RealGM.com reported that Howard has signaled he would be prepared to sign a long-term extension after the 2012-13 season should the Orlando Magic trade him to the Lakers.
But don't make a rush order for a "Howard" Lakers jersey. Don't start expressing giddiness over Howard pairing up with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. Don't make plans to take off work next year so you can attend the Lakers' championship parade.
All of those things might happen. But some things have to happen first.
The Orlando Magic still has to be willing to trade him, and various reports indicate the club is in no rush to do that. The Magic hasn't received any assurances Andrew Bynum would sign a long-term extension with them, or at least indicate he would after the season ends. Orlando still wants to get rid of some expensive contracts in Hedo Turkoglu (two years, $23.8 million) and Jason Richardson (three years, $18.6 million), but The Times' Mike Bresnahan has indicated that the Lakers would be open to acquiring only Richardson. A third team might have to be included in the deal, possibly Houston or Cleveland, since they have more cap space and draft picks than the Lakers have to make Orlando comfortable giving up its star center.