Report: Dwight Howard Blocking Potential Magic/Bulls Trade

by March 12, 2012

by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

Nearly everyone agrees that should Dwight Howard elect not to make a long-term commitment to the Orlando Magic — a growing possibility — the Chicago Bulls would be one of the better fits for the big fella going forward.

The problem is that Dwight hasn’t been very open to the idea of teaming up with Derrick Rose in the Windy City. Last week, he even told reporters that he couldn’t picture himself living in Chicago because the town is too cold for his liking.

According to CBS Sports, the Orlando Magic would like to work on a deal that would send Howard to Chicago, but the problem is that Dwight doesn’t seem all that interested:

The Orlando Magic would like to seriously engage the Bulls in trade talks for Dwight Howard, but the All-Star center’s apparent reluctance to make a long-term commitment to Chicago has all but killed the discussions, league sources said. […] “He’s telling everyone he’s leaving,” one league source said Sunday.

Magic executives are said to be unimpressed with the assets Howard’s three preferred teams could provide in a trade, prompting them to engage in a calculated campaign to expand the field of potential suitors beyond the Nets, Mavericks and Lakers. But the team that can make the strongest case for Orlando to depart from its risky strategy of holding onto Howard are the Bulls, who could offer 7-footer Omer Asik, Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer for Howard and Hedo Turkoglu, sources said. The Bulls also could offer a valuable first-round pick from Charlotte — top-14 protected in this year’s draft but but unprotected by 2016. Such a scenario has gained no traction since Chicago is “not on his list,” a person familiar with the situation said of Howard. Without assurances from Howard or his camp that he’d be willing to sign long-term with the Bulls, Chicago executives have exhibited no appetite for trade talks with the Magic. The two teams have spoken, but there’s “no type of serious discussions” going on, a person familiar with the situation said.

Is the proposed package from Chicago really the best offer that Orlando could get for the League’s best center?

With less than a week remaining until the NBA’s Trade Deadline, Dwight Howard appears to be holding all of the cards in this situation. The Magic would be taking a massive risk by keeping him until he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, and the teams Dwight is interested in don’t have the assets Orlando desires.

It must not be any fun to be working in the Orlando Magic front-office these days.