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Dwight Howard reportedly to stay in Orlando for 2012-13 season

March 15, 2012|By Mark Medina
  • Dwight Howard gestures before Wednesday's game against San Antonio.
Dwight Howard gestures before Wednesday's game against San Antonio. (Bahram Mark Sobhani / Associated…)

The Lakers can forget about trying to get Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard.

The Lakers won't get him before Thursday's trade deadline at noon PDT. Nor will they get him during the free agency signing period in July.

ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard first reported that Howard has waived his early termination option and will stay with the Magic through the 2012-13 season. 

That has an instant trickle effect on the Lakers' front-office dealings. One, it's safe to say Lakers center Andrew Bynum will remain a Laker. The front office hadn't planned to deal him unless it involved a deal for Howard. The Lakers also remain impressed with Bynum's career-high 17.8 points on 57.7% shooting and 12.9 rebounds per game. More important, Bynum hasn't experienced any significant pain in his surgically repaired right knee, at least not enough to keep him sidelined. It's a good bet the Lakers will exercise their $16.1-million team option on Bynum for the 2012-13 season.

It appears unlikely the Lakers would acquire New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams as well. ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported the Nets would reject a Lakers offer that would involve Pau Gasol as the centerpiece. Stein reported the Lakers offered Gasol for Williams at some point in December, but New Jersey declined the offer.

The Times' Mike Bresnahan mentioned the Lakers are pursuing a deal are pursuing Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley. The deal could involve Lakers backup point guard Steve Blake going to Portland, the Trail Blazers dealing Jamal Crawford to Minnesota and a draft pick/another player might be involved as well. Blake still remains on the Lakers' roster and played for 18 minutes in the team's overtime win Wednesday at New Orleans. 

RELATED:

Pros and cons in Lakers' pursuit of Dwight Howard

Pau Gasol handles trade talks with grace, mixed emotions

Lakers continue to pursue Michael Beasley before trade deadline

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