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Andrew Bynum Becomes Focal Point Of Rumored 3-Team Dwight Howard Trade

There are many obstacles to the rumored three team trade involving Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum. It's a complex deal between the Cavaliers, Magic, and Lakers that could fall apart, or not get very far, if that set of obstacles is not overcome in the initial stages of the discussions. One of the first big hurdles is the subject of Bynum's free agency, as the center is set to hit the open market after the 2012-13 season.

The Cavs reportedly want "assurances" that Bynum would sign a deal and stay on long term, but at this point, that would only be a handshake arrangement (we saw how that worked out with Carlos Boozer). According to ESPN, Bynum would only sign an extension now with the Lakers, and hold off on signing anything with another team because of the financial differences:

Sources have told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard that Bynum likely would not sign an extension anywhere else but with the Lakers this summer because it benefits him financially to wait until after the season so he can get a longer, more lucrative deal.

While Chris Grant and his team may be looking for assurances, the Lakers reportedly won't let Cleveland talk to Bynum about a potential long-term arrangement until the framework of the deal is on more solid ground. As a result, the Cavs are approaching the talks by considering Bynum nothing but a one year rental, according to Brian Windhorst:

The inability to decipher Bynum's intentions has complicated trade talks. League sources told's Brian Windhorst that while the Cavaliers are interested in Bynum, they have no choice but to regard him as a one-year rental because that remains a possibility unless he gives them assurances he will either sign an extension with them now or re-sign with them next summer.

Bynum's agent, David Lee, just returned this week from a vacation in Alaska and has discussed the rumors with the press. He indicated that there's been no communication with the Cavaliers, but that any team would be "foolish" to trade for the Lakers' big man without speaking with him first.

Obstacles aplenty.

Stick with this StoryStream for all the Dwight Howard news updates and rumors. For all things Cleveland Cavaliers, check out Fear the Sword.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.