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More and more it sounds like Magic may not trade Howard

Mar 8, 2012, 11:09 AM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

Let’s be up front about the strategy: If you were the Orlando Magic and you planned to trade Dwight Howard, you would be smart to say publicly and to teams that call you were not going to make a trade. Make some team go James Dolan crazy and offer you too much for your star. Then you make the move.

That said, it is beginning to sound more and more like Orlando is not going to move Howard before the trade deadline. They are going to into this summer with him in the hopes that he re-signs with them and will not leave the $30 million on the table (which is not really $30 million, but that’s another story).

Marc Stein of ESPN put it this way:

Yet it seems evident that the stronger belief in the Magic Kingdom is that it’s better to keep Dwight and face the worst-case-scenario consequences of losing him for nothing if there’s so much as a 10 percent chance of him changing his mind.

The vibe coming from the Magic is that owner Rich DeVos prefers that scenario, frightening as it is, to what Orlando can get for Dwight in a trade today. Fortunately we have only about a week more to wait to find out whether Orlando’s bravery has staying power … or whether the claim that it’ll take its chances with mere salary-cap space should Dwight bolt was just posturing.

Both New Jersey and Dallas (and Indiana and other places not on Howard’s list of preferred destinations) can sign him to a max contract this summer as a free agent. Howard would just get smaller raises and one fewer years guaranteed than the Magic would offer (which may not be a concern as he has a lot of years left to earn).

The Orlando Sentinel says that in recent days the tone seems to have changed around the Magic regarding Howard.

But in recent days there has been an unmistakable, though generalized, shift in tone. Howard has indicated publicly that he has not made up his mind about his future. Most recently, he seemed to indicate that the Magic might, just might, make some changes that would make him more likely to stay with the franchise. There even is talk that Howard might decide not to opt out of the final year of his contract and then spend the 2012-13 season with the Magic with his long-term future just as it is now: unresolved.

Him picking up that year to stay with the Magic is not likely, that’s the optimistic viewpoint in Orlando. They may well lose him. But it looks more and more like it will not be via trade.

One way or another, we will know by next Wednesday.

  1. raidmagic - Mar 8, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    I don’t know I’m starting to think this might be the right thing to do. Trying to convince him to stay and letting him walk if he doesn’t want would be better than starting all over without a bunch of “could be” players with bad contracts holding the team down for years to come.

  2. ihavecomplaints - Mar 8, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    I always get thumbs down when I say he and Deron Williams are going to sign with Dallas this summer, but the writing is on the wall. What else is gonna happen?

    • 00maltliquor - Mar 8, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      That’s exactly what I think too. I’m almost garunteeing it.

  3. thoff1525 - Mar 8, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Ya I agree with this. I think at this point, Orlando feels that trading Howard is essentially them “giving up”. At this point they would rather ride out the season and hope for the best. They would rather give it a shot, fail, and get nothing in return than just trade him. I always felt that a trade was never really in the mix, that they would either keep him somehow or just lose him for nothing.

  4. gmsalpha - Mar 8, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Agree with Mr Hoffman. The Magic won’t get anything comparable in a trade. They’ll be much like Indiana has been, fighting for the 8th playoff seed every year and getting knocked out in round 1. Then not getting a lottery pick.

    Might as well keep him, do everything you can to resign him and if he leaves, at the end of the day, you can live with yourself.

    Orlando has just made awful roster decisions, and shown that at least before Martins came in, they were incompetent. Started with Rashard Lewis. Over $100m for that average player killed them.

  5. chadinkc30 - Mar 8, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Ummmm so everyone thinks the magic will be better off getting nothing for him??? I’m glad you aren’t the GMs of my team! I’m sorry, but Bynum is better than nothing, along with a hundred other players! Hes made it clear there’s no chance, let me repeat no chance he’s staying in Orlando!

  6. tomtravis76 - Mar 8, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Trade him. He doesn’t want to be in Orlando, go get everything you can. Ownership can’t tell it’s fanbase, we tried, Dwight doesn’t like us or you, sorry. Go get some pieces and try to build another team. Orlando took its shot with Dwight , they got to a title round- it didn’t happen, now go in another direction.

    Dwight is a young guy, he wants to see what else is out there, it happens , people grow tired of their situations and want change. He has spent his entire adult life thus far playing in Orlando. He wants Brooklyn, he wants to be apart of something new and exciting, in a “culturally hip” city, he wants to be the face of New York City’s newest franchise… and they want him. Its good for the NBA.

    Orlando will be fine, all those young guys who get sick of spending their seasons in cold cities, Orlando will have cap room and a fan base that supports their team.

    • jrillah10 - Mar 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM


      I like your last 2 paragraph’s, the first one, not so much. Trading him straight up for Bynum would be fine. The problem is the Lakers would have to deal more than Bynum. Meaning the Magic would have to take on garbage contracts. Thus not leaving them a lot of wiggle room to bring in other players. Keep in mind, they did that with Shaq and ended up with Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady. The Hill thing didn;t work out, but that wasn’t because of anything the Magic did. Just bad luck on Hill’s part. The Magic will be fine either way.

      • kinggw - Mar 8, 2012 at 3:48 PM

        They could do a lot better than Bynum. In fact they would be wise to avoid Bynum. He’s injury prone and they could be in the same situation with him next season because after this season he has one year left on his deal (assuming they pick up his option) The Magic should only acquire someone they can control for a while. Lakers and Mavs fans dont want to hear it, but the Nets still have the best deal for Howard. The Magic would be fools not to take it.

  7. hwatt - Mar 8, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    the Magic could always pull a Colts move and just horribly suck for a few years and just play the lottery and start over. That’s better than being stuck with ok players from a trade and being stuck at .500.

  8. chadinkc30 - Mar 8, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Tell me how its better to suck ass for years, instead of being competitive or even “ok”???? I’m pretty sure it took how long to be relevant after Shaq left for nothing…..

  9. andyreidisfat - Mar 8, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    I think it’s all a ploy by Howard. He wants to play for Cuban, but he doesn’t want to see the team gutted in the process. If he waits till the offseason then Dallas can sign both he and Williams and the nba can have one more team of superstars who couldn’t get it done on their own. Exciting.

    The players have to much power and are paid way to much.

  10. rotaylla - Mar 8, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    O R L A N D O M A G I C Once Beaten Twice Shy….LMAOFF…

  11. anderds1 - Mar 8, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Howard talks jibberish. He wants to be the man, yet he want to play with another “superstar” like Deron Williams. Who do you think would take the last shot in that situation, Howard? I think not. Until Howard can hit a free throw, he’ll never be the go to player. Unfortunately, Howard’s a young man with too many people whispering in his ear. The smartest person in his camp is his mom….

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