Tuesday night Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard told reporters after defeating the Miami Heat 104-98 in overtime, that he had told the team’s front office that he did not wish to be traded before the NBA trade deadline goes into effect Thursday at 3:00 pm EST. Without committing to a long-term extension with the Magic; what incentive does the team have to adhere to his wishes? According to reports from “ESPN.com” as well as “CBS Sports.com” the All-Star center has told teammates as well as front office staff that he will not opt-out of the last year of his contract; giving the team at least one more full season with Howard in a Magic uniform.
Howard and his agent Dan Fegan would have to sign a waiver before Thursday’s trade deadline stipulating that he will honor the last year of his current deal; as Chris Paul did before the Los Angeles Clippers agreed to acquire him in a trade from the New Orleans Hornets. The move would give the Magic another season to bring in a stronger supporting cast to convince the center to stay long-term in Orlando.
Sources close to the team are saying that Howard’s comments to reporters about not wanting to be traded, enraged Team Owner Rich DeVos as well as front office staff. Those sources also state that if the big man is not willing to give the team any kind of committment before the trade deadline they will actively seek a trade for their prized player.