3:44pm: The Magic hope to have a deal by early August, reports Sam Amick of SI.com (Sulia link).
3:04pm: Magic officials continue to hold out for the best Dwight Howard deal, and are unlikely to trade him in the next few days, Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld writes. The Rockets, a major player in trade talks, will be tied up while waiting for the Bulls to decide whether to match their offer sheet to Omer Asik, and it won't be clear what kind of cap space and assets Houston will have available until that situation is resolved, Kennedy says.
The Rockets and Lakers have been forced to bid against each other for Howard, and the Magic will weigh their final offers once the Bulls make their decision on Asik, according to Kennedy. Asik has signed the offer sheet but the Bulls have yet to see it, meaning the three-day period Chicago has to match is not yet under way. Last night, Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio also noted the Magic's patient approach, but heard from an opposing team's GM who said there's no way the Magic can bring Howard to training camp in late September. I'm not sure if that deadline holds much weight, however, since Howard and the Magic already co-existed last season amid plenty of trade speculation, and there's no guarantee Howard's back will be healthy enough to allow him to make the start of camp anyway, though the big man insists he'll be ready for the season.
If Howard is still with the Magic come January 15th, when the Nets can trade Brook Lopez, Newsday's Rod Boone believes Orlando and Brooklyn would reinitiate talks, but obviously much can happen between now and then (Twitter link).
The Magic remain focused on their coaching search in the meantime, which is down to assistants Jacque Vaughn of the Spurs, Michael Curry of the Sixers and Lindsey Hunter of the Suns, Kennedy says. With the second round of interviews complete, Vaughn still appears to be the frontrunner, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, with Hunter the next choice. The next step involves meeting with the DeVos family, the owners of the team (Twitter links).