Source: Dave McMenamin and Ramona Shelburne / ESPN
While the Los Angeles Lakers continued to engage the Orlando Magic in discussions to acquire All-Star center Dwight Howard, there was no face-to-face meeting between Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and Orlando general manager Rob Hennigan on Tuesday, a league source told ESPNLosAngeles.com.
The Lakers remain committed to pursuing Howard even without assurances he’d sign a long-term extension with the club. What’s unclear to both sides is whether Orlando would accept Andrew Bynum without assurances he’d sign a long-term extension.
Cleveland and Houston, both of whom are under the salary cap and rich in prospects and future draft picks, have engaged the Magic as potential third-team facilitators. However nothing is imminent on that front and the most substantial discussions have been directly between Orlando and Los Angeles.
The Rockets have had Howard at the top of their wish list for months and have made moves to pursue him, from collecting first-round picks in the draft to using the amnesty clause on Luis Scola. However, Houston’s Howard pursuit could come to a halt if the Chicago Bulls do not match the Rockets’ offer sheet to restricted free-agent center Omer Asik, worth $25 million over three years. Signing Asik along with Tuesday’s acquisition of Jeremy Lin would eat up much of the cap space Houston had cleared to take on extra salary in a Howard deal.
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