As the Orlando Magic work to trade center Dwight Howard, the team has identified Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum as the player they most want in return, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Magic and the Brooklyn Nets have reportedly discussed swapping Howard for Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and draft picks, but Orlando is discussing deals with other teams as well.
Before making any trade for Bynum, Wojnarowski says, the Magic would require him to sign a contract extension. Orlando would also ask L.A. to include future draft picks and to take bad contracts off the Magic's payroll.
Steve Kyler of HOOPSWORLD has noted that Los Angeles never offered Bynum in return for Howard in prior trade talks, instead choosing to build its offer around veteran power forward/center Pau Gasol.
Howard has made clear in recent days his desire to join the Nets for their first season in Brooklyn, indicating he would only commit to a long-term contract with them, and not with any other team. Would the Lakers risk dealing Bynum, just 24 and a one-time All-Star, for Howard, hoping a year in L.A. could persuade him to change his mind?
Bynum averaged 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks in the 2011/12 season. He's more physically imposing and skilled in the low post than Howard, but far less mobile and athletic.