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Magic,Lakers Had Finalized Deal Andrew Bynum,Devin Ebanks & Steve Blake if Howard Didn’t Opt-In
IamaGM says it better than anyone when they discuss this Dwightmare. In the hours leading up to the trade deadline, the Magic were threatening to trade Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers. Howard had no interest in playing for the Lakers, despite the fact that he initially put the team on his trade list before the season started. Reports at the time had Dwight Howard not willing to sign an extension with the Lakers if a trade was consummated due to a falling-out with Kobe Bryant. The Magic and Lakers had a finalized deal which would have sent Andrew Bynum, Devin Ebanks and Steve Blake to New Jersey.
According to league sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Orlando brass got fed up with Howard’s yes-no-maybe posturing and threatened to trade him to the Lakers, not his desired location, if he did not sign an agreement to waive the opt-out clause for the final season of his contract. Howard eventually signed the papers, but only after he was told “he would be a Laker by the end of the day,” according to one source. …. The Magic, though, had heard enough. They told him if he did not sign the agreement by noon, he would be traded to the Lakers. …. They favored the Lakers’ package of Andrew Bynum, Devin Ebanks and Steve Blake over the Nets’ offer.
With the Magic now in a 5 game losing streak and the drama between Dwight and Van Gundy, this trade doesn’t look like too bad of an idea. Bynum has been playing amazing basketball and has oddly even been mentioned in the MVP race alongside teammate Bryant, Durant, and Lebron James.
Whether this is all true or not, or somebody is throwing their “sources” around, it will be interesting to see how the Magic, who are now the 6th seed, will compete in the East during the playoffs.