by Yaron Weitzman | @YaronWeitzman
It’s taken nearly a year, but it appears that Dwight Howard has finally admitted, or at least come close to admitting, what we’ve all known for a while: that he wants to make Brooklyn his home. Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Howard has informed Magic GM Rob Hennigan that there is only one team that he is willing to sign with when his current contract expires after this season.
From Yahoo! Sports:
As the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and other teams prepare possible trade offers for him, Howard told Yahoo! by phone that, “There’s only one team on my list and if I don’t get traded there, I’ll play the season out and explore my free agency after that.”
Howard wouldn’t specify the team, but multiple league sources believe that it is the Brooklyn Nets.
Howard met with new Magic general manager Rob Hennigan on Friday in Los Angeles, and said he told Hennigan of his desire to be traded. However, Howard insisted he was merely repeating a position he had made clear to Magic officials since waiving his ETO in March.
Howard, who is recovering from back surgery which he underwent in April, also had a response for those who claimed that he was faking the injury:
“I’ve never faked anything,” Howard told Yahoo! Sports. “I’d never fake a back injury to not play for my team. I played a lot of games in a lot of pain, and there were times that I was crying in the locker room afterward because I was so seriously hurt. But I kept fighting. I’ve played with a cracked sternum in the past, and played with a lot of different [injuries].”
It will certainly be interesting to watch where this all goes from here. Do the Nets have the pieces to trade for Howard right now, or will they just try to sign him after the season? Is Deron Williams willing to re-sign with Brooklyn, and play out the year without Howard? Will this scare the Rockets and Lakers away? For now, all we can do is wait and see.