Friday, March 2nd, 2012 at 9:40 am  |  12 responses

Orlando Magic CEO: Still Time to Convince Dwight Howard to Stay

Dwight Howard says that he’s been in touch with the Magic front-office about his future plans, though the lines of communication remain murky. And according to team CEO Alex Martins, there’s still a chance that Howard can be convinced to stay. From the Orlando Sentinel: “We have a couple of weeks until the trade deadline, which is a critical point on the calendar to determine how we can move forward together,’ Martins said of the ongoing Dwight saga. ‘Our conversations with Dwight continue, and I feel good about the conversations we’ve had. … I’ve said all along our reason for not trading Dwight at the beginning of the season is that time would be on our side one way or another. Time would be on our side in the fact that we could work with Dwight to address his needs and ultimately convince him to stay. Or time would work on our side in that if Dwight made the decision that he didn’t want to stay, we would have more time to talk to other teams about what trade possibilities exist.’ However, with the March 15 trade deadline bearing down, time is running out. Martins was with the team 16 years ago when another franchise big man walked out of Orlando and he is doing everything in his power to make sure that doesn’t happen again. ‘We’re certainly work ing toward not having a situation like we had with Shaq – a player walking away without any compensation to the team,’ Martins said. ‘There are some advantages this time around that weren’t there before (when Shaq walked). This team can pay its own free agent more than anybody else with the additional year and the additional annual increases.’ Still, Dwight holds all the cards. He can pretty much nix any trade he wants and walk away as a free agent at the end of the season. He’s not obligated to sign a long-term extension with any trade partner the Magic may identify. And, let’s face it, if Dwight doesn’t commit to signing an extension with a team, said team is not going to give up anything of value to acquire him. Even though Dwight hasn’t publicly altered his pre-season request to be traded, Martins still talks as if keeping Howard is a real possibility and the Magic’s No. 1 goal. ‘We’ve continued to to have a daily dialogue with Dwight since December,’ Martins said. ‘He feels that he is being heard as far as what his goals are. And, by the way, the goals are the same: We both want to win. That’s what he continues to tell us and we continue to tell him. We both want to win a championship and we’ve been working toward that for many, many years. I think the proof is in the pudding because of what we’ve done and what we’ve invested to try and win. We’ll continue those dialogues over the next couple of weeks and hopefully we’ll get to a point where we both believe that the best place to win a championship is Orlando and we’ll work out the details to make sure Dwight is a part of that for years to come.’”

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  • Sano

    He is not going anywhere unless he want to throw 30million down the drain.

  • JoeMaMa

    If Dwight’s going to turn down $30 million in salary to leave (plus the Florida tax breaks, which will let him keep more millions), trade him. I really think that that’s the central question: will he really leave that much money on the table? I’m sure he’s got some manager telling him “you’ll make it back in a big market”, but…who knows?

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

    I’d say stay. He should be more like Wade and have people come to him. Think about it a big a$$ dominant guy like that why the hell would he leave to play with someone else? He seems like he wants to play with DWill so let him leave instead. Also didn’t think about this wouldn’t it be crazy if DWill joined D12 and they signed KG for the vet minimum?

  • zero

    Dwight with this inconsistent teammates you have you`re still winning. You don`t need to go in Brooklyn or Dallas, just stay and let someone come there.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    T-Ray, Orlando has no money. Big difference between the situation in Miami where they only had 4 people on the roster.
    Dwight is as good as gone.

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

    Totally overlooked that nbk. They kind of put themselves in a pickle.

  • http://nonstopsports1.blogspot.com/ LaKid

    Literally just put up our opinion on this on our blog (link in the name).. we think there is an overlooked option that seems to be the best for Dwight but is still good for Orlando.

  • bnets

    Brook Lopez is lookin great right now

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    Otis Smith: aint nuthin really change

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    they just gotta trade him and shut up….smh

  • http://Slam Delucious

    Trade D Howard to LA
    Bynum to Chicago
    Gasol and noah to orlando

  • B.C.

    That trade wouldn’t make any sense for the Lakers “Delucious”. The only blockbuster deal that I think is possible and that I would do if I were general manager Otis Smith is I would offer Dwight Howard to the Clippers for Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan the deal works for both teams.