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Dwight Howard Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers' Matt Barnes Says Howard "Want[s] to Be Here"

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Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes has spoken with Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, Barnes says, and believes Howard wants to join the Lakers when he enters free agency in the summer of 2012, reports Andy Kamenetzky of ESPN Los Angeles. From Kamenetzky:

"You know, I've been hearing [rumors about] Dwight," acknowledged Barnes. "I've been hearing [rumors about] Baron [Davis in the event of getting amnestied]. I've been hearing stuff a lot lately. I've talked to both of those guys and they wanna be here, so we'll see what happens."

Barnes played alongside Howard in Orlando during the 2009/10 season, after which he opted out of his contract and signed with Los Angeles, his hometown team. Interestingly, Barnes signed with the Magic with the help of Howard and their shared angent, Aaron Goodwin, as Barnes explained during his introductory Orlando news conference:

[Dwight] texted me one morning, like, "Hey, you’re at the top of the list. What’s going on?" I’m like, "The final two teams are you and Cleveland, but I’m very interested in coming out there." Five hours later, my agent called me and said, "These guys want to offer you a deal. They don’t have much money, but it’s a good situation, and the potential is the sky." It’d give me the chance to play in the playoffs and go for a ring, and playing with Dwight is all great.

Howard has since left Goodwin for Dan Fegan.

The Lakers are among the most frequently mentioned potential destinations for Howard should he leave Orlando via trade or free agency.