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Rock and a Hard Place

Posted By Warren Shaw On Dec 14 2011 @ 12:33 pm In Orlando Magic | No Comments

Does Dwight Howard want to stay in Orlando?

As has been documented many times the answer to that question depends on what day the question is asked.   Today the answer can be interrupted as “Um, well kinda”.

That doesn’t leave the Magic front office with much to go on. 

They have to know that the team they have assembled is not a championship team as Howard has requested.

Is the current team even better than last year’s who were defeated in the first round of the playoffs? 

A definitive answer on that will not be known until the season gets underway but how much longer can they wait to pull the trigger on a Howard trade?

The Denver Nuggets resigning of  free agent center, Nene, has forced the New Jersey Nets to ramp up their push for Howard. Fearing that they may get shout out in free agency and the need to entice Deron Williams to stay has the Nets getting extremely creative.

A rumored deal (that is uber complex) starts with the Nets, Magic, and the Portland Trail Blazers. The Magic would receive Brook Lopez, Gerald Wallace and two first round picks in this year’s draft. The Nets obviously get Howard and the bad contracts of Hedo Turgolu and Chris Duhon.  Portland would come away with as many as 3 draft picks and players yet to be determined. Just for fun a fourth team is likely to be added to make the complexity of this deal work.

The Lakers are still in the mix but fading as a result of not having Lamar Odom as a tradeable chip. Unless they are willing to part with both of their bigs, Gasol and Bynum, their outlook on trading for the Magic.

Much has been put on the GM Otis Smith, but keeping Howard is truly a team effort. From the CEO, teammates, all the way down to the ball boys. 

Howard wants a say in personnel decisions and the Magic have promised to give him that going forward. I would suspect that will also include input on his own fate on whether or not he will stay.

Even with that, Orlando will have to wait as long as they possibly can to trade Howard given his own indecision to date.

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