5:45pm: Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal cites a team executive involved in the discussions between the Lakers and Magic who says that both teams have been talking about Dwight for weeks but haven't been making much progress. Lloyd also references an Eastern Conference executive who believes that the Magic are in no hurry to move Howard and are holding out for the Rockets to improve their offer.
4:24pm: The Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin offer sheets won't affect the Rockets' discussions for Howard, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. However, reports that Houston would take on all of Orlando's bad contracts in a Howard deal are "ridiculous," tweets SI.com's Chris Mannix.
Feigen also notes that the Magic/Lakers talks would likely involve the Rockets as a third team (Twitter link), while Mannix cautions that both Howard and Bynum would have to agree to sign long-term with their new teams before any trade could happen (Twitter link).
1:57pm: Talks between the Lakers and Magic are ongoing, but a Howard trade would be "very tough to pull off," a source tells Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link). That news isn't surprising — I briefly outlined below why the two teams aren't an ideal match.
11:02am: The Lakers are "pushing hard" to acquire Dwight Howard and are meeting with the Magic today to discuss a possible deal, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). According to Spears, the Lakers continue to seek a long-term commitment from Howard.
Weekend reports indicated that the Lakers and Magic were involved in Howard talks that also included the Cavaliers, though Cleveland seems to have disengaged from those discussions. While the Lakers' Andrew Bynum is a better centerpiece than rival suitors can offer for D12, it's still hard to imagine the Lakers and Magic consummating a deal without involving at least one more team. The Magic are seeking cap relief, young talent, and draft picks in any Howard trade, and outside of Bynum, L.A. can't offer that. The Lakers included four picks in their sign-and-trade for Steve Nash, and are over the luxury tax line, making it difficult for them to take on any bad contracts.
The Magic recently put Howard trade talks on the backburner while they search for a new head coach, but are still fielding offers from interested teams. The Rockets are also seriously pursuing the star center, reportedly offering a package that included recent draftees, future picks, and cap relief. However, Houston does not currently have a meeting set up to discuss Howard with the Magic, tweets Spears.
As for the Nets, having recently re-signed Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries, they appear to be out of the Howard sweepstakes until at least January. But as ESPN.com's John Hollinger points out, Humphries' sizable first-year salary could make it easier for the Nets to put together a package for Howard that lets them take back a few of Orlando's undesirable contracts. Of course, that scenario assumes Howard is still playing for the Magic in the new year, which is far from a certainty.