Of the three options proposed by Dwight Howard to the Orlando Magic in order to end the trade speculation surrounding the superstar center, an immediate deal sending him to the Los Angeles Lakers appears to be a likely scenario for the Magic brass.
Even though Howard may be wearing purple and gold in the near future, the Magic still have two other intriguing options with the league’s best center open to a trade to the Brooklyn Nets in January or leaving the team as an unrestricted free agent after next season. Both scenarios may very well be explored by the Magic.
If Howard ultimately ends up leaving Orlando as an unrestricted free agent, the Dallas Mavericks appear to be the favorites to sign him according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
“If deals don’t surface with the Lakers or Nets, Howard plans to sign with the Dallas Mavericks as a free agent in the summer of 2013.”
After failing to sign superstar Deron Williams via free agency this summer, the Mavs were scrambling to find other alternatives with the knowledge of Dirk Nowitzki nearing the twilight of his NBA career.
Fortunately for Dallas, the Mavs were able to make some solid additions to the squad with the acquisitions of O.J. Mayo, Darren Collison, Chris Kaman and Elton Brand. Even though all of these moves may ultimately fail to pan out, Dallas has made an effort to improve after losing Jason Terry and Jason Kidd to free agency and missing out on signing Williams.
Obviously, the Magic’s front office doesn’t want Howard to walk away in free agency without receiving anything in return. No team wants to lose a superstar with nothing to show for it, and with that being said it’s highly doubtful that will happen.
The most likely scenario as of right now appears to be Howard being traded to the Lakers before next season or to the Nets in January with Brook Lopez eligible to be traded on the 15th of that month. If somehow that never happens, and that is possible, the Magic may lose Howard for nothing with the three-time Defensive Player of the Year signing with the Mavs in the summer of 2013.