Dwight Howard Traded: Lakers Taking Big Gamble Getting D12 Without Extension

Although it would appear that the Los Angeles Lakers have came out on top of the four-team trade (per ESPN) that sent All-Star center Dwight Howard to L.A., there could be an unhappy ending in this fairytale if this season is anything less than magical for the Lakers.

With an extension not being pushed on Howard before accepting the deal from the Orlando Magic, this leaves the possibility that Howard leaves the Lakers at the end of the 2012-13 season if things don't go as planned.

According to ESPN's Marc Stein the Dallas Mavericks will be waiting in the shadows to swoop up D12 if his sting in L.A. goes sour after this year.

Stein tweeted:

If L.A. does not work out for Dwight, says source briefed on his thinking, he knows "Dallas will be there for him." Mavs will have cap space

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 10, 2012 The last time the Lakers had a high profile center in town was when Saquille O'Neal was teamed up with Kobe Bryant, who despite their rocky relationship, won three-straight NBA titles from 2000-02.

No one can predict how personalities will mesh once star players are joined on one team, so if Bryant is reluctant to share the spotlight with Howard on the Lakers, L.A. could have another Shaq-Kobe issue on their hands. 

If another conflict of egos occurs, Howard may feel like taking his talents to a team where he will be the main guy after just one season as a Laker.

One other risk is Howard's back, which he had surgery on early this summer, which will most likely keep the newest Laker out of the starting lineup when the season begins.

Only time will tell if the Lakers' big gamble will pay off in the end, but if it does, having a second coming of "Superman" in L.A. could only mean big things in a city known for accepting nothing less.

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