HOUSTON -- Dwight Howard’s departure from Orlando is nearly complete. The All-Star center could be a member of the Los Angeles Lakers as soon as Friday, pending NBA approval of a four-team, eight-player trade also involving Denver and Philadelphia.
Many Rockets fans speculated and hoped Howard would come to Houston, but as of Friday morning that didn't look likely.
A person familiar with the details says a conference call has been set up with team representatives and league officials.
Teams are required to get league approval once they have agreed upon the terms of a deal.
Multiple reports on Thursday said Howard would go to the Lakers, ending months of talks between the Magic and numerous in trying to grant his request to leave Orlando.
Philadelphia would get All-Star center Andrew Bynum from Los Angeles and Jason Richardson from Orlando, while Denver would get 76ers All-Star Andre Iguodala, playing for the U.S. men’s basketball team Friday in the Olympics semifinals against Argentina.
Orlando would receive Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington from Denver, Nikola Vucevic and Moe Harkless from Philadelphia, and lottery protected first-round picks from each of the three teams.
Howard had asked for a trade to Brooklyn, but Orlando failed to work out a deal with the Nets, but was determined to move their disgruntled big man who told the Magic he wanted out even before the 2010-2011 season started.
Howard averaged 20.6 points and 14.5 rebounds in 54 regular-season games for Orlando last season. In eight seasons with the Magic, he averaged 18.4 points and 13.0 rebounds.