Report: Orlando Magic Nearly Traded Dwight Howard to Lakers if He Didn’t Re-Sign

by April 06, 2012

Prior the most recent bit of drama in Orlando, you may recall the fiasco of the Magic trying to get their superstar center to stay in town. According to the NY Post, the Magic were prepared to ship Dwight Howard to the LA Lakers had not opted-in for one more season: “According to league sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Orlando brass got fed up with Howard’s yes-no-maybe posturing and threatened to trade him to the Lakers, not his desired location, if he did not sign an agreement to waive the opt-out clause for the final season of his contract. Howard eventually signed the papers, but only after he was told ‘he would be a Laker by the end of the day,’ according to one source. While both sides proclaimed loyalty as a factor in Howard’s decision to stay in Orlando, the contentious nature of the process gives the Nets ample hope they still may open in Brooklyn next season with Howard on their side. ‘[The Magic] do not want to go through it all again,’ said one source who claimed Orlando wants a commitment from Howard on an extension before training camp to avoid his bolting as a free agent in 2013. ‘[The Magic] are determined to avoid another year of that.’ By opting in for the final year at $18,091,770, Howard is bound to Orlando only through next season. […] Orlando played its trump card. Sources for months maintained Howard wanted no part of the Lakers, that he did not want to follow the legacy of Shaquille O’Neal. Orlando leaders had one other reason for the threat: They favored the Lakers’ package of Andrew Bynum, Devin Ebanks and Steve Blake over the Nets’ offer.”