May 31, 2011, 11:41 AM EDT
But the only way silence the rumors is to sign an extension.
Howard and the Magic are talking about a two-year extension and it only awaits his signature, according to Orlando’s Local 6 Sports Director David Pingalore.
Take a lot of salt with this report.
No doubt the two sides have had some conversations and it’s reasonable to think the Magic have made this kind of offer. But that is different than the two sides agreeing to a deal. The fact remains that what Howard has really made clear is he wants to win a ring, and not signing an extension gives him leverage with the organization to force change. And the Magic roster does need to change.
There’s not a lot of negotiations here, Howard is a max player. The money is the money, it’s just years and if there are opt outs. Which means if Howard wants to get it done, it will get done fast. It hasn’t yet. Anything that gets done likely will be under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement after the lockout. Howard is smart enough to want to see that document and how it does or does not tie the hands of the Magic in restructuring the roster before he commits.
But the two sides are talking. No doubt.
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