ORLANDO, Fla. (CBSMiami) – The Orlando Magic still can’t figure out what to do with All-Star center Dwight Howard, who must think the team is either really stupid, or not committed to winning.
The NBA trade deadline is set for 3 p.m. Thursday and that means the Magic have just more than 24 hours to decide whether to keep or trade Howard. The center is widely expected to opt-out of his contract at the end of the current season and become a free agent.
But for the past year, Howard has been waffling over whether he would or would not re-sign with the Magic. Howard’s most recent statements show a complete lack of caring for his current team and it’s future and puts the ball squarely in the Magic’s court as to what to do now.
“Well, I told those guys, I’ve been telling them for the past two or three weeks now that I want to stay and finish the season,” Howard said Tuesday night.
With that statement, Howard basically dared the Magic’s front office to trade him. Otherwise, he’s forcing the Magic to take all of the risk going forward and then at the end of the season when he signs with someone else, getting nothing in return.
If the Magic were to trade Howard before the deadline, they most likely could get several player and/or draft picks in exchange for the best center in the NBA. If the Magic don’t trade Howard, and he signs with another team at the end of the year, they get nothing.
The reason Howard doesn’t want the Magic to trade him is that he doesn’t want the team he’s going to be playing with to lose many parts in a potential trade.
The New Jersey Nets, soon to be Brooklyn Nets, would have to give up at least multiple draft picks, players, and probably center Brook Lopez. If the Nets give up that much, it’s going to be tough to surround Howard and point guard Deron Williams with much young talent.
Still, the Magic know that he will not re-sign; or if not, they need new management. The only question is how much can the Magic get for him.