Last night, we heard from agent Dan Fegan that Dwight Howard would not be signing an in-season extension with any team that acquires him this year. This news comes as no surprise -- even if Howard had been dealt to his preferred destination in Brooklyn, it would have been shocking if he'd immediately finalized a three-year extension, rather than waiting until next summer to ink a more lucrative five-year contract. And as many writers have pointed out, even a promise that he'd re-sign when he becomes a free agent is technically against NBA rules.
Regardless, if sounds like Howard is becoming more amenable to signing long-term with the Lakers, so it's hard not to consider L.A. the current frontrunner in the D12 sweepstakes. Here are today's Howard updates, with the latest news up top:
- Amico elaborates on the difficulty the Magic have been presenting possible trade partners, saying they keep changing the terms of potential deals at the last minute. A source tells Amico that Nets GM Billy King thought he had finalized a trade with the Magic at one point earlier this summer before the Magic pulled back.
- Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio reiterates that it's the Magic, rather than Bynum's or Howard's representatives, that are complicating a potential deal (Twitter link).
- The three-team talks involving the Magic, Lakers, and Cavaliers are running into the same problems that plagued Orlando's talks with the Nets, writes Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. The Magic aren't convinced that this is the best they can do for Howard, while the Cavs are reluctant to get too serious until they find out if Andrew Bynum would be open to committing long-term to Cleveland.
- Berger hears from one source that Howard was convinced to waive his early termination option in March by Magic officials that said if things didn't work out for Dwight in Orlando, the team would trade him to Brooklyn. However, another source tells Berger that no such promise was made to the star center.
- The Magic, Lakers, and Cavs are still "far" from finalizing any deal, but aren't deterred by comments made by Fegan or Bynum's agent David Lee, says Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (Sulia link).
- Kris Humphries said today that he was never approached about accepting a sign-and-trade to the Cavs, so the Magic/Nets talks didn't advance that far, tweets Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.