Rob Hennigan, the Orlando Magic’s new general manager, is doing his best to try and convince Dwight Howard to stay. Um, it’s not working out too well for Hennigan. To say the least.
According to numerous published reports, Dwight Howard re-iterated his desire to play for another team in a meeting with the Magic’s front-office on Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Howard reportedly has the LA Lakers, Brooklyn Nets and the Dallas Mavericks (next summer) on his list of desired teams, since he — quite rightfully — doesn’t believe Orlando has a clear plan to contend for an NBA championship.
Hennigan’s pitch to Howard had a heavy focus on the two men developing a relationship that would be valuable to the Magic moving forward. He expressed a sincere interest in getting to know the six-time All-Star and working with him to improve the team. Howard, however, was expecting an outline of how the team planned to improve and get back to a championship-contending level, something he didn’t receive during the hour-long meeting, according to sources. Howard was staunch in his stance and again made it clear to Hennigan that he has no desire to return to Orlando. He told the 30-year-old general manager that he would “never sign another contract with the Magic,” according to sources.
During the meeting, Howard informed Hennigan that he would be willing to re-sign with the Lakers at the end of the 12-13 season if the two teams were able to complete a trade. The scenarios Howard was open to during the meeting were: An immediate trade to the Lakers, a January trade to the Brooklyn Nets or a clean break at the end of the 2012-13 season. But he was clear that he would not return to the Magic, choosing to leave as a free agent after the season, sources said. Hennigan informed Howard that he didn’t have any deals in the works and wasn’t quite sure how to respond to what he was told, according to sources. Hennigan was noncommittal on any of the discussed scenarios as the meeting ended.
It’s a no-win situation for all involved: Dwight Howard is frustrated with the Magic’s questionable handling of his situation, Orlando quite understandably wants to retain the franchise center (or get an incredible package of players in return if they trade him), and fans and media are left with no choice but to patiently wait it all out.
What an ugly, interminable mess this is.