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Report: Dwight Howard flip-flops again, will not opt-in with Magic

Mar 14, 2012, 8:54 PM EDT

Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard gestures during the first half of their NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in Boston Reuters

Dwight Howard has handled his exit from Orlando about as poorly as one person can. He has made LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony look smooth.

And it will be an exit from Orlando now. You can bet after today the Magic are burning up the phones in an effort to get a deal done before Thursday’s 3 p.m. eastern deadline.

After earlier in the day telling a few teammates and members of the Magic management that he would not exercise his option and “opt-in” to stay with the Magic next season, Howard has changed his mind again according to Marc Stein at ESPN and multiple other reports. He would not sign the papers that took his option off the table.

In a Wednesday night conference call with Orlando Magic officials before the team’s game in San Antonio, Dwight Howard told the Magic that he is not prepared to surrender the option to become a free agent at season’s end, according to sources with knowledge of the discussion…

During the call, sources said, Howard told the Magic that staying in Orlando is his first choice. But he also made it clear that he was not prepared to relinquish the (Early Termination Option) ETO in his contract that allows him to become a free agent.

Dwight, Dwight, Dwight. I know it’s an election year, but you just can’t come off as flip-flopping like this. It gets politicians, and it’s going to get you.

When asked why Howard told several teammates and members of the organization earlier in the day that he had indeed decided not to opt out of his contract, the source insisted that Howard “didn’t fully understand the ramifications” of surrendering his ETO and did so largely because Magic officials warned him that he would be traded by Thursday’s 3 p.m. trading deadline if he did not take that step.

Orlando is now going to work hard to trade him before the deadline. I’d expect him to be moved — and not necessarily to the Nets or a place he wants. The Magic will not make the best move for the Magic without concern for Howard.

  1. myktuggle - Mar 14, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    This is what happens when you give 1 player so much power. Otis Smith and Ron Jeremy err VanGundys job were in this mans hands. They called his bluff and he was exposed. Classless D12. Go Mavs!

  2. nightrain42 - Mar 14, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    I am so sick of him. Trade him to Milwaukee

    • 00maltliquor - Mar 14, 2012 at 10:53 PM

      Nah, he doesn’t deserve Jennings and Ellis. Ship him to Charlotte or Toronto…yeah, Toronto!

  3. ddrew80 - Mar 14, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    Are y’all serious he gave them 7 1/2 good years he can’t do it by himself . That’s rite he has all the leverage know cause when ur old n ur time is up u get treated like Ewing and Olaguwon got done dirty. So howard do what’s best for u know.

    • 00maltliquor - Mar 14, 2012 at 10:57 PM

      I hear you and totally agree with you on your points, but it’s NOT what he’s doing but HOW he is doing it.

    • david8726 - Mar 14, 2012 at 11:07 PM

      Dwight wanting to leave isn’t the problem. It’s his right as a free agent to leave.

      The problem is that he’s going about it in the worst way possible.

      He hasn’t been forthright with the Magic. He’s spent a whole year stringing them along, not being clear about his intentions, leaving the whole franchise in limbo.

      Had he just said from the beginning “I want to leave, trade me now, there is nothing you can do to change my mind,” I think most people outside of Orlando wouldn’t have been too upset. But this bogus flip flopping makes him look like a confused, emo girlfriend who doesn’t know what she wants.

  4. concernedcitizen001 - Mar 14, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    By not relinquishing his opt-out clause, Howard has just shown where he truly stands. If the Magic trust him at his word, they will be left holding an empty bag. From a business perspective, I think they have no choice but to get what they can for him while they can. We have all seen how good a professional athlete’s word is time and time again.
    Howard has made his decision, now the Magic must follow through on theirs.

  5. lakerluver - Mar 14, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    I keep saying the dude’s a PRIMA DONNA!!! Guys like that do not lead teams to titles.

  6. mjagosports511 - Mar 14, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    as a Magic fan…i am at a loss for words…just a couple hours ago he was staying…

    thanks for everything Dwight….very upset it went down this way

  7. ezmagic - Mar 14, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    As a magic fan since ’89 I’m disgusted about the indecision flip flopping. Dwight you were one of the most loved players in the league. Now you’ll be the most hated if you don’t stay with Orlando especially the way you’ve handled it. To screw over a franchise that drafted you with just “potential”. They gambled on you when the experts said to pass on you…
    For years I’ve cheered for you and it looks like for years I’ll be booing you now. thanks for the great years tho Dwight Coward 😉 yes Coward.

  8. losangelasbasketball - Mar 14, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    If Orlando gets burned by another hall of fame center, I will feel terrible for that city… more than I did for Cleveland fans.

  9. pxeeks - Mar 14, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    As a 76ers fan I’d take him. Come on over to Philly we’d love to have you :)

  10. steelersredsoxnation - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    Brianjoates I totoly agree with you. Lebron didn’t owe Cleveland a damn thing. He played out his contract, he gave them 8 years. And all Dan Gilbert did was give him mo Williams and Antwan Jamison as lebrons “help” and I think some of you need to watch the decision over again. You can tell watching Lebron when he said he was going to the heat he was nervous about it. He wasn’t arrogant or pompous. AND he raised $2 million for the boys and girls club! So get off his back.

    Dwight is a moron. All that god given talent and doesn’t have a legitimate thought in his head. Tired of hearing about him…Orlando needs to ship his ass to the bobcats so he won’t be heard from ever again

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