Are the Orlando Magic Ready to Trade Dwight Howard?
Depending on which media outlet’s so-called “sources” you want to believe, the Magic may or may not be seriously thinking that it’s time to trade superstar center Dwight Howard. From SheridanHoops and the Orlando Sentinel: “The source said that when Magic team president traveled to Michigan last weekend to speak in person with owner Rich DeVos, the conclusion was reached that not only was it time for Stan Van Gundy and Otis Smith to go, but Howard, too. That means the Magic will be proactive in soliciting deals once next week’s draft lottery results are in, clearing up the lay of the land in terms of which teams can offer the most value in return.’ […] ‘Magic CEO Alex Martins said on Thursday that he expects to begin interviewing candidates next week. Time is of the essence, because the Magic’s new head of basketball operations will spearhead the search for a new head coach and because the NBA draft looms on June 28. The new hire also will try to sell Dwight Howard on a long-term vision for the team and will attempt to secure a definitive answer from Howard on whether he will sign a contract extension. Two sources familiar with the Magic’s thinking said a report Thursday by the website Sheridanhoops.com that the team has decided to trade Howard is not true. However, Martins already has stated publicly that the franchise will not go into the 2012-13 season with uncertainty about Howard’s future, meaning that the team will trade Howard if he doesn’t sign an extension or provides no clarity on his plans this offseason. Rumors continue to swirl that Howard wants to be traded — that he cannot be swayed to stay long-term by any new hire the Magic make.”