The Lakers pursuit of Dwight Howard may soon be coming to an end.
It appears the Nets are close to completing a trade with the Magic to acquire the All-Star. A three-team deal between Brooklyn, Orlando and Cleveland is reportedly being discussed that would send Howard to the Nets.
The Magic would receive Brook Lopez and multiple first-round draft picks in a potential trade. The Cavs could end up with Kris Humphries and MarShon Brooks.
Howard may finally get his wish of joining Deron Williams in Brooklyn. He's demanded to be sent to the Nets multiple times, and stated that he will only sign a contract extension with the Nets. Howard is a free agent at the end of next season.
Brooklyn and Orlando have been unable to get a deal done without bringing in a third team. Cleveland has six first-round picks in the next three drafts, and could be willing to include some in a trade for established players, like Humphries and Brooks. They also have a lot of room under the salary cap and can afford to take on some of the Nets players.
Los Angeles once seemed like the favorites to land Howard. They can offer Orlando the best possible player for Howard in Andrew Bynum. Bynum, however, is a free agent at the end of next season, as well. His refusal to sign a long-term contract with the Magic has put a hold on a possible deal.
The Rockets are also still continuing their pursuit of Howard, but they aren't close in coming to an agreement with the Magic.
L.A. might be done making any more big moves this offseason. The Lakers made a big splash last week when they acquired Steve Nash in a sign-and-trade with the Suns. Los Angeles sent four draft picks to Phoenix in exchange for the two-time MVP.
Even without Howard, the Lakers are still seen as one of the favorites to win the NBA Finals next season. In Las Vegas, they have the third-best odds of winning the 2013 title at 8/1. The Thunder come in at 3/1, while the Heat lead all teams at 2/1.
The Nets odds are currently at 10/1. They recently acquired Joe Johnson in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks.