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Dwight Howard keeps his cool as trade rumors swirl

Jan 17, 2012, 12:01 PM EDT

Magic's Howard listens to the National Anthem before their NBA basketball game against the Kings in Sacramento Reuters

It’s the Clippers. No, it’s still the Nets. No, the Lakers. And Orlando still loves you!

Rumors are swirling around Dwight Howard like he’s an honorary Kardashian, but he is keeping his cool, keeping his head down and winning games. And for now that is working.

The latest rumor to come up was that the Clippers were now on his list of teams where he would sign an extension. First, off, there is no deal the Clippers can offer right now that the Magic would take (unless you think D’Andre Jordan and Mo Williams will get it done… in which case you are wrong).

But the Clippers and Magic have not spoken since before the season anyway, reports Not that formal talks are any real way to measure progress, things can be discussed through back channels, but there is not a lot to discuss because the Clips used their good trade pieces to get Chris Paul.

Then there is Patrick Ewing, the Knicks legend and current Magic assistant passing on advice, via the Orlando Sentinel.

“Everybody always thinks the grass is always greener,” Ewing said. “But it’s a great opportunity for him to stay in a [single] place. I wish I had stayed and finished my career here in New York. But it’s his decision….

“You’ve got to have a thick skin to play in a place like (New York,” Ewing said.

What does Howard say about all this? He is talked with and is taking the Carmelo Anthony route — speak platitudes and win games. Keep his head down and just keep going, as Ken Berger notes at

“All (‘Melo) said was, ‘Do what’s best for you,'” Howard said Monday after his Magic beat Anthony’s Knicks 102-93 — Orlando’s fourth straight win, the last three on the road. “‘Whatever you decide, people are gonna dislike you, but you have to live for you.’ And it’s good advice. I just told him, ‘I want to do whatever I can do to win.'”

He’s winning now in Orlando, but this roster is not going to win a title come the playoffs and everyone knows it. What’s more, there are no clear paths to getting better than Miami or Chicago in the near term. Under the new CBA Howard is going to have to take less money when he leaves — only Orlando can offer a super max deal, the sign-and-trade way Anthony did it is no longer allowed. Howard seems good with that.

Howard can keep his head down and keep plugging along for now. But when the All-Star Game comes to Orlando next month it will be different. Then the trade deadline will approach and the Magic will have some hard decisions to make. Decisions they can ignore now as the team wins.

For now platitudes and wins will work. But not much longer.

  1. isujames - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    The clippers dont have any one to trade to the magic besides griffin and cp3 to get howard and if it came to it i would package griffin in a deal to get howard and cp3 togather.

    • narrabeen23 - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      There are only five players i wouldn’t trade to get Howard right now given the current structure of teams in the league: Kobe, Durant, CP3, Wade, and Rose.

      I would cringe in trading LeBron or Blake for Howard, but ultimately I think the chance to pair Paul with Howard or Bosh and Wade with Howard is just too good to pass up.

  2. acdc363 - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    I won’t dislike D-12 no matter where he ends up even if its LA I think this guy is a class act he’s always smiling and joking when he’s off the court and then the second a game starts he’s all business. I want him to win too.

  3. phillytalk215 - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    I think he should consider philly and we give Orlando iggy, Spencer hawes, and a 1st rounder

  4. raidmagic - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Why all the hate for Orlando? None of the teams he wants to go to have any better chance at winning than Orlando. Cry all you want they are a top five team

    • qdog112 - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      Face it. Orlando is just a company town owned by Disney. There’s not much else there in such a small market, to keep any stars wanting to be there. Maybe they could give them life-time passes on all the rides – yeah that’ll attract’em.

  5. burnsy - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    “… but this roster is not going to win a title come the playoffs and everyone knows it.”

    Yeah, they should just close it up and quit trying. Sports are predictable.

    • mjagosports511 - Jan 17, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      i hate the Orlando gets no respect even though they are winning games, and good wins at that. 4-0 on the current road trip beating a Portland team who was previously unbeaten at home and a Knicks team that people predicted to win it all. Orlando has been, and still is, a title contender. Nobody wants to realize this because the media just wants Howard to go somewhere else.

  6. kvanhorn87 - Jan 17, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Howard will be a sixer soon.

  7. gmsalpha - Jan 17, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    I don’t know why adidas is so opposed to Dwight and D-Rose playing together in Chicago. Chicago is by far the best option for the Magic, and a shoe deal should not influence where you play. People say “but Wade and LeBron both endorse Nike and play together in Miami”. Well, seems like 80% of NBA players wear Nike, and besides LeBron is Nike central and Dwyane Wade is part of the Air Jordan brand. If Howard wants to win, he should strongly consider Chicago. And even though it’s just one city, imagine the irony of the two biggest adidas stars playing in the city that Jordan created his legacy with Nike.

  8. cluelessdufus - Jan 17, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    its obivous that the lakers are gonna land him i just think the magic are trying to get the best record before the trade deadline even thought i wish my bulls would land him

  9. charlutes - Jan 17, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Howard should tell his agent to find out through shady investigating tactics whether Chris paul will sign long term with the Clippers.

    If I’m Howard, I want to lead the transformation of a historically disgraceful franchise, in a dream city, into a dynasty.

    Howard, Paul, Griffin, long term would be a young trio of outrageously complimentary players. Pick up a few shooting specialists and mix them into the drink, you’ve got yourself a deadly cocktail.

    L.A. Would eat this up. Legacy, cash, and lebron, wade, and bosh…boom, roasted.

    But that’s just me.

  10. asublimeday - Jan 17, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Uh, if you stay in Orlando people won’t dislike you.

  11. davidly - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Seems like a nice fella to me. Kinda reminds me of a certain old-timer by the name o’ Skibby MaRue.

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