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Orlando not ready to trade Dwight Howard. Yet.

Nov 30, 2011, 3:51 PM EDT

dwight_howard Getty Images

Give this to Magic general manager Otis Smith — he was pretty up front.

He has about the most difficult job in the NBA right now: Either retool the Magic roster enough that Dwight Howard wants to stay (a job Smith made harder on himself with bad moves last year), or find a way to get some real value back in a trade of the biggest star the franchise has had since Shaq.

But he laid it out for the Orlando Sentinel — he doesn’t want to trade Howard, but he has to keep all his options open.

“I think, one, you have to talk to your player first. We have to figure out where his head is, not where everyone thinks his head is, and just more figure out where he wants to be. And then you have to make the best decision of what’s in the best interests of the franchise. That’s how I’ve always went about it: to make the best decision that’s in the best interests of the Orlando Magic.

“I think you have to wait and leave all that up in the air. I don’t think you can say you will or you won’t [trade] at this point because you don’t know what you don’t know. I can speculate based on what I read and hear, but that’s really not fair to Dwight and it’s not fair to us. So you have to have a conversation with him about what he wants to do, and then you have to make the best decision that’s in the best interests of the franchise, as always.”

You can bet that Smith and Dan Fegan, Howard’s agent, will speak soon.

What the Magic need to hope for is Howard to be direct and honest with them — no “I might sign with you if I feel the team is moving in the right direction” stuff. Be direct. Be honest. “This is what it takes for me to stay.” If Howard truly cares about the Magic and the Magic’s fans he owes it to them to be up front about his thoughts and intentions. It’s not easy and there are a lot of emotions in play, but he needs to be a professional here.

If Howard says he wants to move on, expect this process to move pretty quickly. Smith does not want a repeat of what happened last year in Denver. Well, except for the part where the Nuggets got some quality pieces back and played well without their star.

  1. stoutfiles - Nov 30, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    If you’re Howard, it hurts your chances for a ring to be honest. Giving the Magic the best trade possible means the team he goes to will lose a lot of pieces. He’s better off playing his contract out and then picking his spot.

    • snoopy2014 - Nov 30, 2011 at 4:34 PM

      Howard will still have the final say; no team will take him on unless he signs the extension. If he waited for free agency, he’d be limited to teams with cap space (not championship levels teams for the most part) unless you do a sign and trade, which is…the same as a trade. With a trade now, he has the option of going to a contender (most of whom are capped out and couldn’t sign him in free agency).

  2. theklitchdotcom - Nov 30, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    I hear howard has many endorsements pending in NY NJ areas

    He works out at the reebok gyms in Manhattan he wants to play

    What is theklitch

  3. steelerchicken - Nov 30, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    I thought the owners locked out the players to avoid this situation?

  4. vstyle23 - Nov 30, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    @ steelerchicken,They did and now they have him by the throat if you think about it. If he says he’s gone, won’t be a contender because a contender would lose its players to get him. And to sign him you can’t have a a good team because you need the money for him, he’ll look real good staying in Orlando to the public but the real deal is that Orlando is the only option

  5. poorlittlepinkus - Nov 30, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    deja shaq all over again.

  6. chaothao - Dec 1, 2011 at 6:18 AM

    To the Heat he goes !!! Lol wishful thinking isn’t it great?!

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