With free agency looming after the 2011-2012 season, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard has been a major focus of essentially the entire league. He recently requested a trade to one of three teams- the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks- but Magic GM Otis Smith has insisted all along that he won't limit himself to only speaking with those teams.
One of the teams that will be making an effort to engage Orlando in talks about Howard will be the Chicago Bulls, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Sources have told Johnson that the Bulls believe they have the cap space, young talent and draft picks to build a reasonable package for Howard.
However, sources close to Howard insist that he's hesitant to sign a contract extension with any team, and his options are already limited now that the Dallas Mavericks have acquired Lamar Odom from L.A. to fill the trade exception they recently received from the three-team trade that sent Tyson Chandler to New York.
Chicago is presumably a place that could appeal to Howard, though. He'd be able to team up with the league's youngest MVP ever as he enters his prime in Derrick Rose, as well as some other quality pieces depending on who Chicago would need to give up. It's pretty much a lock that any Bulls offer would be based around starting center Joakim Noah.
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