Dwight Howard will not sign an extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets or any other team that trades for him, his agent told Ric Bucher late Thursday night.
One of the great myths regarding Dwightmageddon 2012 has been that the deals discussed were in some way contingent on Howard agreeing to sign an extension with whomever traded for him. That, because he only expressed interest in re-upping with the Brooklyn Nets up to this point, teams like the Lakers and Rockets would be hesitant to trade for him.
That’s not exactly true. (It’s also not the main stumbling block. The main stumbling block continues to be Orlando.)
While both L.A. and Houston would obviously love for Howard to promise them that he’d sign an extension in the event that they trade for him, his promise would be just that – a promise. There is no way he would actually sign an extension upon arrival because, really, doing so would be dumb.
Howard is not eligible for the biggest deal available until he officially becomes a free agent. If he were to sign a deal upon getting traded, the most he could agree to would be a three-year contract. If he were to wait until next summer, he could get a five-year deal worth upwards of $100 million.
And that’s why, while it admittedly sounds dramatic, this report by ESPN’s Bucher doesn’t actually say much of anything:
The agent for Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard refuted reports that his client has decided he will sign an extension with the Los Angeles Lakers -- if traded to them.
"Dwight's position has remained unchanged since the end of this past season," said Dan Fegan of LaGardere Unlimited. "He fully intends to explore free agency at the end of next season, regardless of what team trades for him, including Brooklyn."
Well, yeah – obviously. The discussion was never about him officially signing on the dotted line; when people refer to Howard re-signing, they mean him essentially giving a pledge to stay with whomever he gets traded to.
As far as trade talk goes: conversations between the Lakers, Magic, Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers are still ongoing. Nothing much to report on that front. Everything continues to hinge on Orlando’s willingness to make a move. Once they do that, all the domino pieces will fall. Cleveland will get permission to talk to Bynum. L.A. will talk to Howard. And so on and so forth.