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Berger: Don't Count Lakers Out

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Ken Berger takes a different tack than his counterparts at ESPN. While Chris Broussard, Ric Bucher and Larry Coon are all reporting the Nets are in the driver's seat in the pursuit of Dwight Howard, Berger says don't be surprised if the Lakers wrest control of the whole affair and steer it towards L.A. In fact, he claims that Howard has yet to make a firm decision on any destination.

"Despite assertions to the contrary, the Lakers remain firmly on Howard's list of three teams he's asked to be traded to, along with the Nets and Mavericks, multiple people familiar with the situation said," Berger writes. "The Lakers' clear preference is to trade Pau Gasol in a Howard deal and not Andrew Bynum, who was elected as an All-Star starter for the first time this week.

And if Howard did go west? "League sources say Nets officials have remained in constant communication with Deron Williams and are encouraged by the All-Star point guard's improved take on the franchise's outlook," Berger wrote of reports D-Will will depart if Howard goes to L.A. "One league front-office source described the Nets as being in wait-and-see mode. 'If Orlando said to the Nets, 'Go get this player [to complete a Howard trade],' they'd go get that player,' the person said".