A Blockbuster Dwight Howard Trade Is About To Happen, And Chris Broussard Is AWOL (Update: He's Back!)

The Olympics are still continuing in their tape-delayed glory and the NFL preseason has now begun in earnest, but everyone is abuzz with talk that a blockbuster, four-team deal that would send Magic center Dwight Howard to the Lakers is imminent. Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported early this afternoon that the four teams were getting closer to an agreement, and ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that a Friday morning call has been set up with the NBA to go over the details with the league office. While Woj is saying Bynum and Gasol could be headed out of LA, Stein's sources say the Magic will be getting a first-round pick from the Lakers, Sixers, and Denver and that Gasol may not necessarily be part of the deal. (UPDATE: Woj is now reporting that Gasol is staying with the Lakers.) It does appear that Andrew Bynum will be go from LA to Philadelphia and that Andre Iguodala (currently in London for the Olympics) will be headed to Denver.

TMZ tried to wrangle some kind of confirmation from Howard that the deal was in the works, but Howard wouldn't bite. Regardless, Stein seems confident in what his sources are telling him, and we should have a clearer idea of the deal's particulars some time in the morning. There's been no update from Woj after this afternoon's initial report, but if Gasol does stay put somehow, that means the Lakers' starting five next season could be Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace, Kobe Bryant, and Pau Gasol. (Holy hell, that's not bad.) What's odd is that Stein's source says Howard will not immediately sign an extension with the Lakers, instead preferring to test free agency next summer, so we might get to DO ALL THIS AGAIN, WOO-HOO!

Still, this all feels so premature, so incomplete without Broussard chiming with his esteemed NBA expertise. In fact, he's basically disappeared for the last eight days, not tweeting once since a Dwight Howard-related story on August 1. (His name does surface briefly in this update, so he's reporting on this from somewhere.) Hopefully, he'll surface publicly soon and confirm some of these reports.

UPDATE: Finally, Broussard has spoken. I feel better now.