Dwight Howard is headed to the Lakers after all, according to ESPN.com.
The website reported Thursday night that a four-team trade that would send Dwight Howard from Orlando to Los Angeles is complete.
The acquisition of Howard, combined with the Lakers' recent signing of Steve Nash, could greatly shift the balance of power in the Western Conference, where the Thunder is the reigning conference champion.
“Lakers did it again, getting a center. ... It's a great deal for the Lakers, obviously,” Hall of Famer Chris Mullin said on ESPN, according to USA Today. “This catapaulted the Lakers next to, if not above, the Oklahoma City Thunder.”
Lakers standout Pau Gasol's name has been in and out of trade talks, but according to ESPN.com and the Orlando Sentinel, Gasol is no longer in the mix.
Each team will receive the following players:
Nuggets: Andre Iguodala
76ers: Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson
Magic: Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevis and one protected future first-round pick from each of the other three teams. Orlando may be getting other pieces, including 76ers draft pick Moe Harkless.
Before the deal can be completed, the NBA has scheduled a conference call with all four general managers from the teams involved, including Lakers' GM Mitch Kupchak, according to the L.A. Times.
The NBA then must approve the deal.
One source told ESPN.com that Howard intends to play out the 2012-13 season without extending his contract so he can become a free agent on July 1, 2013.
Howard's departure from Orlando had seemed imminent since last season. He had expressed his desire to be traded in early December, before the 2011-12 season even began. Then in April, then-Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said that Howard had previously asked that he be fired.
Van Gundy was fired in May and replaced by former Kansas standout Jacque Vaughn.