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Dwight Howard’s agent says he will become free agent after season

Jul 20, 2012, 7:55 AM EDT

Orlando Magic v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

This really is not a game changer. It isn’t. And I’ll explain why in a minute.

But Dwight Howard’s agent Don Fegan made a splash late Thursday saying Howard would test the free agent waters next summer regardless of where he is traded (or if he is traded). Here is the quote from Fegan to Ric Bucher of ESPN.

“Dwight’s position has remained unchanged since the end of this past season,” said Dan Fegan of LaGardere Unlimited. “He fully intends to explore free agency at the end of next season, regardless of what team trades for him, including Brooklyn.”

Here is why that makes me yawn — of course he was going to become a free agent and not sign an extension, it’s a $40 million (or so) guaranteed money difference. Under the terms of the new CBA if Howard signed an extension tomorrow or any time this season it can only be for three more years after this one. If he plays out this season and becomes a free agent then re-signs with the team he is on he can get five years with larger raises. It’s what Deron Williams did.

So, to be clear, even if he is traded to the Lakers today and he wants to stay in L.A.long-term, it makes financial sense for him to become a free agent next summer then just re-sign with the team.

The agent speak from Fegan about Howard exploring free agency is him covering his bases. It is not an expression of the reality of how this goes down.

I think Howard will re-sign wherever he gets traded — Los Angeles, Houston, Brooklyn, some other late comer. The reason is not just the money in the deal (discussed above) it is about long-term endorsement money. Fair or not Howard had shredded his reputation in a LeBronesque way during this process — do you think after all that he wants to play out his contract and start a public free agent frenzy for his services? That would be the one thing that would make him look worse right now.

But no, Howard will not sign an extension with anyone. He never was going to. But that doesn’t mean he leaves wherever he ends up suiting up for next season.

  1. spellingcopfather - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:00 AM

    Hopefully Spurs will have the cap space & he would wanna come to the black & silver!!!

    • jeremyhurst - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:28 AM

      They don’t, and he wouldn’t want to.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:47 AM

        Actually they do have room. I do doubt he’d want to, but the Spurs would have the ability to sign him if he chose San Antonio.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 20, 2012 at 3:22 PM

        Wow, what’s with the hate? The Spurs have Duncan for $10 million, Parker for $12.5 million, Bonner for $1 million guaranteed, the Leonard/Joseph contracts, Boris Diaw for less than $5 million and Danny Green for $4 million. That’s around $35 million or so under contract – unless the cap drops significantly next year, that’s enough room to sign Howard. Yes, I know Manu Ginobili isn’t counted in there – he’s not under contract yet. Saying the Spurs have room to sign Howard doesn’t mean either they or he would want to, just that they do in fact have the room to do it.

  2. magicbucs - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:13 AM

    Dwight Coward

  3. chex1868 - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:14 AM

    Drama Queen Howard

  4. charlescub80 - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    What a clown!

  5. dwirk - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    Man, the lakers should put the magic on the clock. Say we’ll give you until next week and then we’re done. This makes the “decision” look good

  6. loungefly74 - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    oh boy….you would think after seeing the “james debacle”, howard would have played his cards a little better throughout all this. but ya know what it is? it’s his people. his people are giving him the worst advice. he is surrounded by fools. once howard goes somewhere else, he needs to drop that entourage.

  7. marksp18 - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    I see that most of the comments are from simpletons who are blaming Howard for this situation. Typical. I do not recall D12 signing Turkoglu, Big Baby, Duhon, both Richardsons, etc to those contracts. Where is the blame for the Magic front office?

    They received their just rewards by losing their jobs but somehow, the simpletons (and you can tell who they are by their comments) want to blame D12. Not sure how it is his fault.

    The dude had enough from the Magic. He performed very very well while under contract. No one can say he did not earn his money. Now he wants to move on. Big deal.

    News flash. He cannot trade himself to any team. He can say where he wants to go and if he will stay there. That is his only leverage and he is using it to his advantage. He gave the Magic a chance to do something by opting in for his last year. They have not done anything worthwhile besides bringing back Nelson. I do not blame him for telling other teams he will not resign with them. If he did not say that they can trade him to Cleveland or Charlotte. No thanks to that.

    The Magic want some other team to save them from themselves. They created this mess and now want to unload all their awful contracts on other teams. That is not going to happen. They may get rid of one or two but that is it. They are not going to get a boatload of picks either. They will get two or three which may or may not be any good. If D12 goes to Houston they will improve and that pick will not be in the lottery. How is that going to improve the Magic?

    This is all on the Magic owners and front office. These idiots have been hanging onto him with some false hope that he would change his mind and stay with that awful organization. They are getting what they deserve. D12 should not give up his only leverage. In the end, who cares what fans think or say? He still is going to get paid and when he goes somewhere else the fans there will love him.

    • borderline1988 - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      So then why did Howard sign the option to extend last year? He could’ve been a free agent now, and avoided this whole mess (for another year). And he likely would have been traded to the Nets at the past trade deadline if he refused to sign that contract.
      Obviously, Howard’s flip-flopping makes the situation a bit difficult.

      And let’s not even talk about Howard’s move to convince management to fire his coach, even though he was bent on leaving Orlando (that’s a real jackass thing to do btw). And the pathetic denial, right after his coach revealed it.

      Orlando’s front office made a number of stupid moves after they made the Finals in 2009.
      But Howard blew his own reputation up. He can’t blame anyone else for that.

      • khuxford - Jul 20, 2012 at 4:07 PM

        Howard indicates they threatened to trade him somewhere he didn’t want to go unless he waived his option. Not what you’re saying.

    • Ringside Rants - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:05 AM

      But a lot of those moves were at the nudging of Dwight, no?

    • bougin89 - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:21 AM

      I agree with what you say about the Orlando front office but Dwight Howard gave up his only leverage already when he picked up his option just before the trade deadline last year. Otis Smith has made some mind numbing acquisitions (Gilbert Arenas, Vince Carter, Big Baby etc, etc,) but this offseason is all on Dwight Howard.

  8. hojo20 - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Fine, Howard will be a free agent. Hopefully he STFU now and plays the season without anymore drama.

    • bahia2 - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      Forget trading him.The Magic are going to get very little for him anyway.Just pay him and sit him for the year.When he misses a practice or anything else fine him.sEE HOW HE FEELS AFTER A FEW MONTHS OF RIDING THE BENCH.

      • paleihe - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:45 AM

        Stupid idea.

        Get rid of him and move on.

  9. misterdreamer119 - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    All he had to do was not sign the option year with Orlando in Feb. and he would be a Net right now. This dood really is a diva. Enough already Dwight go away. Orlando Magic you suck too.

    • skinsfanwill - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:13 AM

      Exactly. He is an idiot and he listens to even bigger idiots. He wants the coach fired, they fire him, he wants the GM gone, they fire him, his DAD wants him in Orlando, he opts in. Make one good decision for yourself dude. If you want then get the flock out. Stop putting the whole world through all this crap. And yes he can basically trade himself. All he has to say is he wants to play for a certain team. They can come up with a trade with any team.

  10. lastdukestreetking - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Howard made his own mess because of his desire to be loved by waiving his ability to opt-out this summer. The Magic have nothing to lose by continuing to make him squirm.

    • duane888 - Jul 20, 2012 at 5:26 PM

      Oh the Magic have alot to lose as well. They’re showing all future free agents and draft picks what a mess or an organisation they are. Who’s gonna want to play there?!

  11. addict2sport - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    Bynum won’t sign either. This is the obvious choice when considering the CBA. It’s the choice I’d make, though a choice I’ll never ever ever ever have a chance to make. Stephen A Smith said it earlier this week, Howard needs to step up and speak up for himself in the very near future. He is definitely making LeBron’s ordeal look like a non-issue with the way he’s handled all of this. I’m very interested to hear what he has to say about all of this. These daily, almost hourly, “updates” and “rumors” have run their course of exhaustion.

    • ludachrisgsx - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:20 PM

      The problem is, what’s he going to say? He can’t just publicly announce where he wants to be traded or what he wants to happen, as he has no control over that anymore, plus it hurts his agent’s leverage. If he really wants/wanted the Nets, he’s sort of screwed now. Chances are the Magic won’t wait for the January date where Lopez can be traded, as they will lose a lot of leverage the closer they get to the trade deadline – not to mention there’s no way they could want this to drag into the season again. If they don’t get it done before training camp they’re going to make a joke out of the organization again, and all of the best options for them will be gone as other teams head in other directions.

      Dwight’s doing the only thing he can do right now – keeping his mouth shut. Until it gets done the rumors will continue to fly. He can’t really say anything that will improve his image or the situation until a trade is finalized and he’s no longer holding the Magic hostage.

      Everything from here on out hinges on what the Magic want in return. If they keep demanding the world for Howard, no team will trade with them and they’ll come up with nothing in the end when he leaves. I don’t believe the Lakers are waiting to hear from Dwight about agreeing to stay long term, they know he most likely will due to the money and years they can offer when he’s on the roster, plus it will be his team in a year or two anyway. The Nets won’t likely have the cap space after this season either, so he’d have to give up a ton of money to go there. And if the Cavs are still in play for Bynum, they know they have a good chance at signing him long term too because of the offer they can make for him, not to mention the nice core of players they’re putting together. I think the 3-team deal with Cleveland and Lakers will eventually play out, it makes the most sense. It just depends how much Orlando tries to get out of it.

  12. Kevin S. - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    Actually, it’s an even bigger difference. If Howard does an extend-and-trade, or signs an extension within six months of being traded, he can only extend for three years *including* the current year. The league was so obsessed with making superstars choose between money and choice of where they played that they failed to realize that many of them would rather take less money and leave their teams with nothing.

  13. peterpickedapairofpeppers - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    What are the actual chances he’s being traded as of 10:06 am EST today? I killed Lebron for the Decision but to me, this is becoming far more annoying. He is now the new player to root against in my book.

  14. alildusty - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    Kurt do you enjoy writing the same article everyday???

    howard is more annoying than lebron. never should have public complained. never should have thrown coach under the bus. never should have flip floped 10 thousand times only to sign the player option. never should have all these dumb trade demands if he will test free agency anyway.

    dude is just plain annoying.

    • cpick619 - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:42 AM


  15. cpick619 - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    I’m a Lakers fan and I don’t want him anymore. He’s the most annoying, drama-filled player in the league. This fiasco of his for the past 2 years is FAR WORSE than any of Lebron’s decision stuff. I wish there was a way he could be suspended for the year simply due to all the annoyance he’s caused everyone. What a total clown.

  16. chadinkc30 - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    This has to end soon! If not, I’ll assume Howard & the Magic just love the attention of this whole thing! Meanwhile IMO the Lakers have to move Bynum now after all of this. No way u trust him to stay when he’s a free agent & u cant blame him for feeling dissed throughout this process

  17. ch8878 - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    This site lives off of the Howard BS the Magic has made it clear hes not getting moved till the Magic chose there head coach so I don’t pay no attention to these trade scenarios.

  18. chiadam - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    OK, so I think it’s safe to say Dwight Howard is the most despised player in the NBA right about now. We’ve all had it with this. It’s a constant avalanche of flip-flopping Brett Favre-ery. I don’t care where he goes, when he goes, what he signs, what he doesn’t sign, or, really, if he ever plays again. He’s a spoiled, self-centered, immature, juvenile piece of garbage.

  19. paleihe - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Of course he’s going to “explore” free agency. By doing that, he’ll get another two years guaranteed, and another 40 million. As opposed to an extension when he get’s three years and 60 million.

    Come on now guys, Bynum is gonna do the exact same thing. So is every other basketball player…let’s move on from this ‘he’ll be a free agent’ crap. He’s gonna resign with whichever team he gets traded to. He’ll simply let the contract expire first.

    • chiadam - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM

      Exactly. And the sign-and-trades after the season that brought Bosh and James to Miami won’t work here. Not with the new CBA. If he wants the full five, he has two options:
      1. stay in Orlando.
      2. sign with whichever team Orlando ships him to.

      If he hits free agency and wants the full five max, Brooklyn is out.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 20, 2012 at 3:27 PM

        The value of the fifth year is really overplayed though. Barring a career-ending injury, he’s still going to get max money that season. The difference between what he makes over the first four years with a team that has his Bird Rights and a team that doesn’t is less than $4 million. That’s not enough to keep him somewhere he doesn’t want to be, and for a player at Dwight’s age, the extra year isn’t all that necessary.

        Oh, and LBJ/Bosh agreed to sign in Miami before the S&Ts were worked out (and when Gilbert was vowing not to agree to one). Do you think they change their minds and return to Cleveland and Toronto if those don’t happen?

  20. soundsofsuccess7 - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    dumbass, you’re still not gonna get to Brooklyn..

  21. steelers4385 - Jul 20, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    He is such a baby. My god.

  22. fanz928 - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:50 AM

    F up haters every fan on every team wants Howard yes even the heats

  23. mikey1977 - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Copfather…the Spurs are far too classy an organization….they’ll stay away from this P.O.S.

  24. fanz928 - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    How is Bynum better than Howard? Yes dwight’s move are predictable but no one could defend him that’s just scary for the defenders and he usually get double so magics have a lot of wide open 3s but noone could knock em down thats why the magics suck

  25. fanz928 - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    How is Bynum better than Howard? Yes dwight’s move are predictable but no one could defend him that’s just scary for the defenders and he usually get double so magics have a lot of wide open 3s but noone could knock em down thats why the magics suck

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