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Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 at 9:00 am  |  49 responses

Dwight Howard Wants to Finish the Season in Orlando


by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

Following the Orlando Magic’s big victory over the Miami Heat last night, Dwight Howard — who absolutely dominated with 24 points and 25 boards — faced the usual line of questioning regarding his future (or lack thereof) with his current team, and he dropped something of a bombshell.

Howard told the assembled media that he’d like to finish out the season as a member of the Orlando Magic, but then a few breaths later, basically indicated that the team may be screwed as suspicions grow that Dwight intends to leave Orlando for the Nets during his free agency in the summer.

From the Orlando Sentinel:

“I’ve been telling those guys [in the Magic front office], and I’ve been telling them for the past two or three weeks now, that I want to stay and finish the season,” Howard said. “I told ’em I feel we’ve got a great opportunity to win and I told ’em that I want to be here and I want to bring a championship here. And I told ’em they’ve got to give me that chance.” It’s not that simple. If the Magic keep Howard beyond the deadline, he would have the chance to sign elsewhere in free agency — most likely with the Brooklyn-bound New Jersey Nets — and could leave the Magic with no compensation. Howard might be stringing the Magic along by not committing to staying beyond this postseason.

“They didn’t trade me at the beginning of the season, and I told them I was going to go out and play as hard as I can every night to put our team in a position to win,” Howard said. “And we’re third in the East. We’re playing great basketball. I told ’em I don’t want to see that slip away. So we’ve got to take a chance, and I think we have a great chance of surprising a lot of people and winning.” [...] Howard said he expects to play for the Magic when they host the New Jersey Nets on Friday. “I feel they have to roll their dice,” Howard said. “It might be tough, but I feel like we’ve got a great opportunity. But they’ve got to roll it.”

Some in the Orlando Magic’s front-office (a place that’s reportedly divided over whether or not to trade Howard) were said to be “disgusted” by Dwight’s comments last night, as nearly everyone now suspects that the big man only wants to avoid a trade so that the Brooklyn-bound Nets don’t gut their entire roster just to acquire him now.

Will the Orlando Magic indeed “roll the dice” and keep Howard, praying they can convince him to stick around this summer? Or will they avoid the wild gamble and try to salvage the situation by trading the game’s best center?

By Thursday afternoon, we’ll have our answer.

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  • karamazov

    oh so what’s new?

  • ENDS

    when will it end(S)

  • http://www.offthebackboard.wordpress.com OTB

    This guy is an idiot.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    hopefully soon

  • LoganJ

    Otis would be insane not to trade Dwight, it doesn’t matter how well they might do this year in the postseason, he is NOT going to resign. Dwight, would also be insane to sign with New Jersey. Are you kidding Superman?!? you want to leave your current and very strong team to join one that is “ready to win a championship”, and you turned down Chicago for New Jersey?!?…that guy is smoking some crazy stuff…

  • John Kose

    The Dwightmare continues…

  • European_Sixer

    Magic 2012-13 R.I.P.

  • Salty

    nbk was right

  • Charles

    This guy is a fool, trade him. He’s gonna bolt in the off season anyways

  • http://theillustrationboard.tumblr.com/ Stepfan

    Dude is a clown. He doesn’t know what he wants.

  • Fat Lever

    This is actually pretty smart on Dwight’s behalf. If he’s traded, he looks like the good guy now, because he can say he wanted to stay. If he stays, he finishes off the season and then bolts towards FA, leaving ORL with nothing and all the while doing just enough so that he doesn’t get accused of giving up and also going to a team that didn’t have to gut their roster via a trade to get him. While his diva-ness is off the charts right now, he’s manipulating the media and fans to the point where either way, he comes out gravy.

  • rlz

    Mark Stein’s tweet last night probably got this one right: “Should be clear by now Dwight wants to finish season in ORL so he can opt out in July and head straight to Brooklyn w/out Nets being gutted.”

  • Shem

    Make a run? They’re going to have trouble beating the Hawks when Horford comes back, let alone the Heat in the 2nd round.

  • roman

    Sure he wants to finish the season with Orlando, and once the season is over he will bounce to Brooklyn. Lets see if Orlando is that dumb enough to believe him.

  • RunNGun

    Sorry Dwight but you can’t have your cake and eat it too. D12 to the Nyets. Make it happen, OTIS.

  • http://www.blogspot.com LLC#12

    Trade him or he’ll just walk away and leave you with nothing! I’m sick of this guy!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    He’s really screwing around with the Magic fans now, this is just sad. They’re not going to win a championship this season, so the idea of riding it out with Dwight might be better than getting a bunch of scrubs in return, but really, you’re not going anywhere, you might as wel get something.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    that idea = bull, now it looks like I think that’s a good idea. Riding it with Dwight, bad idea.

  • J.C.

    Is there something stopping Orlando just doing a sign-and-trade in the off-season? This has always seemed to be the smartest move for Orlando (they aren’t forced to make a bad deal at the deadline, but if Dwight is still insistent that he wants to leave at the end of the season they can get him the best monetary deal while still getting something back in return) but no-one seems to talk about this when discussing the Dwight rumours. Were sign-and-trades removed in the recent CBA or am I missing something else?
    If I were Orlando I’d keep him for the rest of the season. Dwight obviously doesn’t care that much about winning from his latest comments to the media, so it seems to me that he’d rather take a huge contract and be traded rather than sign outright elsewhere for less. Orlando would still stand to get something back in this case and they still have the possibility of convincing him to stay. Obviously the only thing contradicting this assumption is Dwight’s insistence that he doesn’t want a team to gut themselves through a trade to acquire him when he could come through free agency like the Knicks did to get Melo, but his recent comments about not wanting to play for Chicago kind of throw any idea of a desire for competitiveness out the window for me. He’s clearly just motivated by the biggest market and the most dollars he can achieve.
    I’d be interested to hear everyone else’s opinions on this situation.

  • abaci

    Dwight is getting slimier by the day. I’m guessing he stays the rest of the year then leaves Orlando with nothing in return. I hope the backlash will be at least 5% of what Lebron got.

  • karamazov

    I wish they trade him to miami.

  • Shem

    A sign and trade takes away leverage from the Magic. Look at how Miami got LeBron and Bosh. A couple 1st and 2nd round picks as well as trade exceptions isn’t even close to the value that their respective teams could have gotten at the deadline. The player has to also agree to sign the contract depending on the team that he’s going to. A sign and trade is beneficial as it gives the player the max amount of money and the team that wants him gets him without going broke (take NY trading for Melo). If a team gives up all its assets in a sign and trade, the player might as well have just left money at the table and gone to a team with assets. Otherwise, the player is in the exact same situation that he was in before. He has a max contract on a team without a good supporting cast, making the sign and trade counter productive. Orlando needs to trade Dwight before the deadline. They aren’t making a run and could you imagine them going into next year with a starting line of Nelson Richardson Hedo Anderson and Davis. They also wouldn’t have any cap space (right now 2nd in the league and already used their amnesty). Otis Smith has an obligation to make a trade, the risk isn’t worth the reward. Keeping Dwight to lose in the 2nd round isn’t worth 5 years of hoping the lottery balls bounce your way.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    OH MY GOD. i think I officially hate Dwight Howard….. that being said this is actually really smart.

  • jr724

    Not trading Dwight at the deadline would be idiotic. Otis needs to take the best he’s offered by tomorrow.

  • dazzy

    He won’t re-sign so they may as well take Melo and Chandler and gives us Dwight and Hedo.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    It’ll end tomorrow after the trade deadline whether he’s traded or not.

  • ash

    Contray to reports I think he is going to resign with the Magic. I also believe he is torn between leaving and going elsewhere

  • Drig

    Smart ass guy.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    He’s trying to play you Orlando, trade him.

  • alex80

    What a f%&Gg , now that nobody wants to get all the trouble for his ass, and is deadline,now
    He says that wants to stay in Orlando

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    At the end of the day Otis…I hope all of ya pain is champagne!

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    Also the nets are better than people think they are. if Dwight howard just goes there that’s a starting lineup of deron williams, anthony morrow, marshon brooks, brook Lopez and dwight howard. that’s VERY good. plus humpries and farmer off the bench

  • bike

    Orlando’s only way out of this is hope that Dwight suffers a career-ending injury the very next game. Or kill him.

  • kablamo

    Magic trade him now or yu will known as team tht let go of 2star centers

  • http://yahoo.com LakerNation

    I SAY TRADE HIM…… give him an option to sign an extension and if he says no CUT THE ROPE and let him go.

  • http://www.fullc0urtpress.com KHOLIDAY

    I guess this is the reason Jay Z said ” The Nets can go 0 for 82 and I look at you like this sh*t gravy”… He knew Superman was on the way all along! Which leads me to further believe that is really Otis Smith and not Kanye yelling at the end of “OTIS” LOL

  • dma

    BREAKING NEWS: Dwight Howard is trying to fix his image.

  • Richiev

    Dwight asked to be traded at the beginning of the season. They didn’t do it. Now he says, Keep me let’s do something in the playoffs and people want him traded. Maybe he should have said he “Didn’t” want to be traded at the beginning of the season and he would have been traded already.

  • jr724

    Dude on ESPN saying free agency might be the best for Orlando and he has a point. Do what Cleveland did and sign and trade Dwight in the summer for some high draft picks. That way they get a huge salary cut and can rebuild for the next 5 years without destroying this season.

  • AQWORD

    … i get the paper so I DON’T CARE !!!

  • http://www.nba.com VanCityBBall

    i thought he was gunna pull an LBJ and have an hour long tv special called “The Verdict”

  • L Dribble

    If Orlando “roll the dice” they gonna see snake eyes.

  • LP

    its not even about OTIS making the trade…the owner, etc etc doesn’t want to approve the trade.. OTIS wants to make it, he has to convince ownership to make the move… *OTIS cry* watch the throne…

  • bnets

    Dwight Howard to Nets soon. The Nets are taking over New York!

  • Rainman

    This guy is stringing along his team the way LeBron did. Its Sick. I wouldnt be surprised if i see a “Decision part 2″…everything else is happening the same way anyways LOL!

  • ripslam

    So basically, “please let me screw you over completely when I walk after a first-round exit”.

  • ClydeSays

    Trade him to the Nets for their picks & DWill. Done. Why would either side refuse that deal? Nets want Howard & can pick up a PG. Magic could do alot worse than to build around DWill.

  • Dennis

    Watch out NBA, Dwightmare is on the prowl

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