Dec 14, 2011, 2:40 PM EDT
Do not think for a second this is permanent. But when Christmas Day comes comes Dwight Howard will suit up for the Orlando Magic against the Oklahoma city Thunder.
The Orlando Magic have cut off all trade talks for Howard, according to a tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski.
Magic decided to take Dwight Howard off market, ending talks with Nets and the rest of his NBA suitors for now, league sources tell Y!
This echoes the idea that the Magic were in no hurry to make a deal, something Ken Berger at CBSSports.com reported earlier Wednesday. That has always been the Magic’s process here, to be more like the Nuggets with Carmelo Anthony and try to take their time to get him to stay or find the best deal they can.
Consider this the Magic throwing cold water on the process they thought was getting overheated. It happens as the New Jersey Nets were working hard to put together the framework of a three-team deal that also included the Portland Trail Blazers and would have sent Gerald Wallace, Brook Lopez and more (including picks) to the Magic. Portland was to get a number of first-round picks back and the Nets would have gotten the star they needed to pair with Deron Williams.
The Lakers also are supposed to be in the mix for Howard, but would not surrender both Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. (The Lakers are reportedly using Gasol as part of a package as they try to obtain Chris Paul.)
The other two teams on the list where Howard had said he would sign an extension are Dallas — which does not have the assets to make a trade and would need to sign him as a free agent next summer when they have cap space — and the Magic themselves.
The Magic are trying to slow everything down. The process they can do that with, the rumor mill is another matter. In the end, if they can’t re-sign Howard to an extension (and that is not looking likely) they have to trade him or watch him walk for nothing, just like happened with Shaquille O’Neal. But the Magic have wanted to take their time with this from the start, this move fits in with that.
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