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Dwight Howard says he was ‘promised’ a trade from Magic to Nets

Jan 18, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

Dwight Howard‘s exit from the Orlando Magic was anything but graceful, with him publicly going back and forth on whether or not he would stay or go.

After initially demanding to be dealt during the 2012 season, Howard signed a waiver of his early termination option that would prevent him from opting out of the final year of his contract, essentially locking him in with the Magic for one more season.

Things changed once again, however, and ultimately, Howard decided his future was somewhere else. He was eventually traded to the Lakers, of course, where he never wanted to be in the first place and bolted as soon as he got the chance.

What Howard had wanted was to be traded to the Nets, where he would be the centerpiece for an exciting franchise in a new arena where money was no issue for ownership in terms of building a championship roster around him. That ultimately never came to pass, and it stung a bit, considering Howard’s claim that he was promised that a deal to send him to Brooklyn was indeed in the works.

From Jessica Camerato of Basketball Insiders:

In the summer of 2012, reports emerged that Howard requested a trade from the Magic. Unlike midseason when he didn’t know what would happen, Howard believed his next move was clear.

“I thought the Brooklyn thing was going to come through at the end of the season,” Howard said of a potential trade to the Nets. “It was something that was promised, but it didn’t happen. Once it didn’t happen I figured everything happens for a reason. I just let it go. I was upset for a while, but I just let it go.”

It wasn’t for lack of trying on Brooklyn’s part.

The final offer from the Nets included four future first round draft picks and Brook Lopez in exchange for Howard, but Orlando was more interested in a traditional rebuild than signing up for Lopez on a max deal for the next several seasons.

When the Magic said no, that’s the route Brooklyn opted for instead.

It all worked out in the end for Howard, who finally ended up in the situation of his choosing — even if it took a year of purgatory in Los Angeles to get him to his preferred destination.

  1. fruitcovejag - Jan 18, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    Dwight is overrated, not a centerpiece. Very good complementary player. Don’t clog up the paint and turn JH into a jump shooter. Play D and rebound.

  2. zickhead - Jan 18, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    Why is this still even being mentioned, who cares about this crybaby.

  3. Professor Fate - Jan 18, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    ” He was eventually traded to the Lakers, of course, where he never wanted to be in the first place and bolted as soon as he got the chance.”

    If accurate, this quote defines Howard: Someone who hides his true calculating character behind a goof-ball facade. The press conference introducing him as a Laker had him waxing poetic about becoming the next great big man in a long line of Hall of Famers and how happy he was to be in L.A.

    Howard wanted out of Orlando in the worst way and needed time to rehab from back surgery. He permitted the trade to the Lakers as a way of accomplishing both while lying through his teeth about his intentions. The bitter frosting on that deceptive slice of cake for the Lakers and their fans was management’s naive belief that they could sign Howard to a contract. He had them completely buffaloed.

    Whether or not he ever wins anything in Houston is moot until he actually does so. He arguably had better chances in Brooklyn or L.A. Why he had to force a trade out of Orlando instead of simply waiting to become a free agent is puzzling, but he allowed the impatience he developed there to color his decision to bolt the Lakers.

    It was his own fault to naively believe a verbal promise of a trade, which likely was why he stayed. He should have accepted that he’d been had. Instead he chose to screw someone else. All that was accomplished with his rental season in L.A. was to alienate a huge fan-base while revealing an underhanded, if barely competent, nature of dealing with people.

    As for the trade to Brooklyn: “I just let it go. I was upset for a while, but I just let it go.” No, he didn’t. That was his motivation to threaten the Magic that he’d leave in free agency and they’d get nothing in return if they didn’t trade him. When the best offer came from the Lakers, Howard was willing to let Mitch Kupchak believe he wanted to be there in order to escape Orlando and become a free agent anyway.

    Howard lied his way out of Orlando, lied to the Lakers to get a paid medical rehab, and is still lying about the whole affair. It’s true that everything is bigger in Texas, including scheming, disingenuous prima donnas. After all his manufactured drama and self-imposed hits to his reputation, it would appear he’s in the right place after all.

    • somekat - Jan 19, 2014 at 4:00 AM

      As much as I agree much of that as far as Howard, I’m not crying any tears for the Lakers. They gave up nothing but a broke down big man who can’t get a job 18 months later.

      The only thing that Lakers really lost was the myth that every player wants to play for the Lakers more than any other franchise on principal, and in reality, that myth only went on with fans. Trust me, players knew better years ago. Players want to go to, A : where they make the most money (not always just contract), B: where they have the best chance to win a title (reversed for a few guys, more as they get older)

      • Professor Fate - Jan 19, 2014 at 12:30 PM

        Real Lakers fans know that not every player wants to play in L.A. Most, not all. As a Lakers fan myself I’m not crying about Howard, either. In fact, I would say that the team dodged a bullet when he walked away. Re-signing Howard in a rebuilding situation, even with an aging Kobe Bryant, would have duplicated the scenario he fled in Orlando,.

        The Howard trade cost the Lakers Christian Eyenga and Josh McRoberts, along with Andrew Bynum, so I would agree with you they gave up next to nothing for a one-year rental. The Nash trade cost draft picks, of which the Lakers have few, so that deal was more costly.

  4. smcgaels1997 - Jan 18, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    This guys the biggest wimp in the NBA

  5. vikesdynasty - Jan 18, 2014 at 9:33 PM

    Promised a trade? Jesus what a b**ch. Oh mommy please buy me a toy and i won’t kick and scream. I’m so sick of these guys all about them.

  6. tampajoey - Jan 18, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    I thought I was the only one tired of Dwight’s crap. Howard is just becoming unlikeable.

    • jebdamone - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:47 AM

      becoming unlikable? this guy has been completely unlikeable for years!

  7. biasedhomer - Jan 18, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    Orlando made a smart move. Injury prone Lopez on a max deal would just get them nowhere.

    • somekat - Jan 19, 2014 at 4:20 AM

      I would say they are the winners in the deal, but it’s hard to say.
      The Sixers didn’t get anything back for Iggy really, but they did clear their books a year earlier than they would have. If things work out and they get a little lucky with their own and/or NO’s pick, the amount of cap space they are going to have is going to make them VERY attractive to FA’s. If they can get them, and the right ones, is another story. But if they get a top 3 pick, something 8-10 from NO, and still have Noel and MCW on the roster (and hopefully Young), with enough space to get 2 max players….they can’t complain about that

      Lakers didn’t get Howard to re-sign, but they only gave up Bynum. If they though it was any sort of loss (or anyone else in the league did), they’d give him 3 million and fix it. They pick could win up hurting, but it’s protected

      The nuggets only gave up Affalo and a pick (again, protected) and Harrington, and Iggy bolted and they basically got Foye back

      On the surface, the Magic got he most upside (the protected picks, Affalo, Vucevic (who I liked in Philly, even though Collins wouldn’t play him much), and Harkless). But all of those guys got another year of experience under their belts, plus they have a pretty good rookie, and they are 10-30. I know they are in their own rebuild, but with the amount of teams clearly tanking, you’d think they’d be able to win a few more than that

      So far, I’d say the Lakers lost, but not much. The Nuggets lost, as I don’t think they’d of traded Affalo for Foye. The Sixers are TBD (depends on where their pick is, and if/which FA’s they can lure with that cap space), as well as Orlando (still a lot of upside, and will probably wind up with their own top pick this year)

  8. glynch12 - Jan 18, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    Apparently Dwight is still under the impression (i.e delusion of grandeur) that NBA teams are required by law to trade a disgruntled player only to the team he wants to go to.

    In his last two seasons in Orlando, he changed his mind as many times as he did his underwear on whether he was resigning or leaving for free agency. All to get the attention from the fans and team ownership that he so desperately wanted to feed his ego. He never had any attention of resigning and just didn’t want to get the criticism Lebron received when he left Cleveland.

    Then all the nonsense started again in LA. He had zero intention of resigning with the Lakers and it was apparent from day one. I do not care for Kobe but I genuinely felt sorry for him as he had to put up with a wasted season with a supposed superstar teammate that checked out before the season started. Kobe wants to win and Dwight wants to have fun and be loved by all. But again Dwight held the team for ransom with the faint promise of resigning if they trade for or signed players that he wanted. The unnecessary drama dragged on for an entire season as Dwight ate up the constant airtime exposure on every sports channel and newspaper talking about “what will Dwight do”?

    Now he is in Houston and odds are that he’ll opt out if Houston doesn’t come up with some miracle trade that lands them Deron Williams or Chris Paul before his opt out years comes up. He says he wants a championship but in reality, with the salary cap restrictions he’ll never be on a Miami Heat roster with 3 all stars and a decent bench. That ship sailed a couple of years ago and the days of “super teams” isn’t going to happen.

    In the end, Dwight is that teenage girl that was dumped and never got over it. You feel like telling him to get over it and move on. Quit dwelling on the past.

  9. metrocritical - Jan 18, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Is there a more overrated, whiny and mentally weak superstar wannabe in the NBA?

    • pfic15 - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:50 PM

      Yes. And his name is Dwigh…wait. Never mind.

    • belleby123 - Jan 19, 2014 at 7:15 AM

      I agree totally–Howard is living proof that the mental part is just as important as the physical. If he had more talent, I would say he would be better suited for the Harlem Globetrotters.

  10. adoombray - Jan 18, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    It’s either that he understands in 2014 hate is as valuable as love in terms of marketing, or he really needs to just no comment this from now on. The Houston thing is working out great for the most part. He’s like the guy at the bar who keeps talking about his ex’s……….. Which is the guy I was, at his age, but still. Move on dude.

  11. chicagosports2014 - Jan 19, 2014 at 3:48 AM

    This dude is a CLOWN.

  12. cool10857 - Jan 19, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    NBA basketball sucks anyway. Who really cares?

  13. spursareold - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    It’s becoming widely known now that draft prospect Isaiah Austin from Baylor is blind in one eye. He shoots 75% FTs with no depth perception. Why can Dwight only shoot 53% with two eyes and depth perception? That’s pathetic!

  14. lastdukestreetking - Jan 19, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    He was never promised a trade to the Nets would happen. The Magic did talk to them but realistically did not have what they were looking for. And I have absolutely zero sympathy for LAL or their whiny fans. They knew what they were getting.

  15. hdsnake867 - Jan 19, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    I’m totally sick of listening to anything related to Dwight Howard. If I had to pick one player to suffer a career ending injury, it would be Crybaby #12.

  16. redbaronx - Jan 19, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    I can’t stand Howard at this point. Teams try to make trades, they can’t guarantee them! The Nets might not have wanted to give that much. He whines like the world revolves around him. If it’s not one thing, it’s the other. Management isn’t doing what he wanted. His teammates aren’t playing hard enough. The hot dog vendor isn’t steaming the hot dogs at the right temperature.

    I don’t wish on anyone that their career would end, like some other guys have said on PBT, but as great as I hear he is with kids, he’s a crybaby when it comes to playing ball.

  17. rickditka - Jan 19, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    You have to be determined and have some mean streak to win. This guy is an excuse making, goof. Are the Rockets better? Better equipped for half court, playoff basketball? When they lose hell still have that stupid look on his face.

  18. rabbi187 - Jan 19, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    The Rockets are playing well and will continue to get better as the season goes. Suck it haters. As for this stupid article, who cares? This was 2 years ago.

  19. chicagosports2014 - Jan 19, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    This dude is a real clown.. GoodLuck Texas!

  20. scbaby2013 - Jan 21, 2014 at 1:34 AM

    Hope Howard never wins a ring

  21. ddarqwon - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Funny, the guy was asked a question which he answered openly and honestly and then moved on to the next one.
    Yet some of you here still try to vilify him for that, diligently trying to get it to fit some presupposed narrative.

    It seems Dwight isn’t the one with a problem letting go.

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