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Report: Lakers making strong push to land Howard

The SportsXchange

The Lakers and Magic have rekindled talks that would send center Dwight Howard to Los Angeles, Yahoo Sports reports.

Howard, in the final year of his contract, hasn't committed to signing a long-term deal with the Lakers, which general manager Mitch Kupchak would consider a non-starter in a proposed deal that could involve Lakers' center Andrew Bynum.

Yahoo reported the two sides were meeting Tuesday with the Lakers "pushing hard" to land Howard.

More than a week of talks with the Brooklyn Nets, to whom Howard said publicly he wanted to be traded, were fruitless. First-year Magic general manager Rob Hennigan asked Howard to reconsider his trade demands, but the five-time All-NBA center refused.

Atlanta, Houston and the Lakers were reportedly in the mix as fall-back options, but Orlando prefers not to take long-term financial commitments back in a trade. Bynum, 24, is in the final year of his contract and might not agree to a long-term deal with the Magic, according to reports.

The Lakers traded two first-round picks to the Phoenix Suns for Steve Nash last week and don't have the same draft assets or salary-cap space as the Rockets.

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