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Dwight Howard trade: Deal puts Orlando on its own Oklahoma City-style rebuilding plan

OKC MODEL? — In addition to players, Orlando gets three unprotected first-round picks and an opportunity to start over under new general manager Rob Hennigan, a former member of Sam Presti's staff in Oklahoma City.
BY JOSH ROBBINS The Orlando Sentinel Published: August 10, 2012

The Lakers emerged as Howard's preferred trade destination once a potential deal between the Magic and the Brooklyn Nets fell through last month.

Howard would not answer a question about the potential trade to the Lakers when a TMZ paparazzo confronted him Thursday afternoon.

The Magic had showed little interest in acquiring Bynum, who arguably is the NBA's second-best center. Magic officials were concerned about the health of Bynum's knees, and it was unclear whether Bynum would have considered re-signing with the Magic in free agency.

Orlando is scheduled to begin its training camp on Oct. 1. Although Hennigan had not ruled out the possibility of Howard starting camp with the Magic, Howard's presence — and the resulting distractions — would have made it difficult for first-year coach Jacque Vaughn to instill a team-first culture.

The Magic selected Howard out of Southwest Atlanta (Ga.) Christian Academy with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft.

In the eight seasons that followed, he played in the NBA All-Star Game six times, was named first-team All-NBA five consecutive seasons and won the Defensive Player of the Year Award an NBA-record three consecutive seasons.

In 2009, Howard led the Magic on a storybook playoff run, beating the defending champion Boston Celtics in the conference semifinals and LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference finals. The Magic lost in the NBA Finals to the Lakers in five games.

Howard ranks as the Magic's all-time franchise leader in points scored (11,435), rebounds (8,072) and blocked shots (1,344).

It appears now that he'll be doing all those things for the Lakers.