Orlando, Fla. –

According to various reports early this morning, Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard is expected to sign a deal with the L.A. Lakers, bringing to a close his outspoken desire to leave Orlando.

The deal and the details have not been announced yet, but are believed to contain long-term contracts after the 2012-2013 NBA season. Until now, Howard has only indicated he would be willing to sign a long-term extension with the Brooklyn Nets.

Sources also said the Lakers are ready and eager to trade for Howard — with a package built around Andrew Bynum — but that Orlando is holding up the deal. Orlando, while willing to sell Howard, is not in a rush. The Magic will wait until they get a deal they like.

The Lakers remained dogged in their pursuit of Howard late into the night Wednesday and plan to continue discussions into Thursday.

The Lakers have talked with Cleveland and Houston, both of whom have interest in Bynum, about being the third team to help facilitate the trade. Both clubs have the draft picks Orlando wants in any deal.

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