Change Of Plans For Howard?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Has the one option few people considered before now become the play for Magic center Dwight Howard?  What if he opts-in for the final year of his current deal and stays through the 2012-13 season instead of opting out and heading to free agency this summer?

That means we can pack up all of this Magic drama and break it out again next year, provided what Howard reportedly told his teammates and Magic management this afternoon in San Antonio is legitimate.

Well, it’s not that simple actually.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweeted that at least three of Howard’s teammates present in a meeting on Wednesday indicated that, “Next year was not even mentioned in the meeting … He told us he was “all-in” for this season.” That would not constitute any change at all from what he said after Tuesday night’s win over the Heat in Orlando, when Howard made it clear that he wanted to finish this season in a Magic uniform.

After asking for a trade during training camp and then letting it be known that he wanted to exercise the early termination option in his contract and test free agency, for Howard to roll that back now — after the Magic balked at his request to stay in Orlando through the end of the regular season and not be traded — would require a leap of faith the Magic aren’t willing to make without Howard’s signature on a document saying he will play out that final year of his deal (where he will earn $19.5 million).

No one is sure if Howard gave that sort of concrete assurance, so this could all be speculation flushed down the trade deadline rumor mill drain. But one thing that is clear, according to a source close to the situation, is that for months Howard has been in the middle of an emotional tug of war between forces that want him to play elsewhere (his agent) and forces (family and close friends) that would like to see him stay in Orlando long-term.

Howard has seemed conflicted all along, never coming out and saying whether he would or would not consider staying in Orlando. It’s opened up his situation to all sorts of speculation. He’s never come out and explained his plans, not that he had to. But he has allowed others to define the circumstances.

This latest development, if true, takes him off of the trade and free-agent table this year and allows the Magic to focus on their season. They are currently in the third slot in the Eastern Conference playoff chase behind Chicago and Miami. With Howard, the Magic are a legitimate challenger for the Eastern Conference crown.

Until Howard speaks up, publicly — the Magic play in San Antonio on Wednesday night — we won’t know for sure what his true intentions really are.

UPDATE 5:55 p.m. from TNT’s David Aldridge:

The Orlando Magic, unsure about the intentions of franchise player Dwight Howard-who told teammates Wednesday morning he planned to “opt in” and play the final year of his contract–have told Howard he has to get that paperwork into the NBA office by the end of the day, according toba source. Otherwise, the Magic will proceed with potential trade discussions before Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline.

Howard, who has long been expected to opt out of the last year (2012-13) of his deal and become a free agent at season’s end, said after Tuesday’s game with Miami that he wanted to stay with the Magic through the end of the season. It was the first time that Howard-who asked to be traded during training camp- had expressed any desire to stay in Orlando, which has been trying for weeks to convince him to stay.

The request was a “complete surprise” to the Magic, according to a league source. So was Wednesday’s declaration.

But Orlando is not convinced Howard genuinely wants to stay.

The Magic have asked Howard for months to commit just to playing next year. His sudden acquiescence, a day before the trade deadline, is being viewed skeptically by the Magic-hence the demand that both Howard and agent Dan Fegan sign by Wednesday evening. The Magic “can’t roll the dice,” the league source said.

UPDATE 8:15 p.m. from Fran Blinebury:

Prior to tonight’s game against the Spurs in San Antonio, Dwight Howard refused to discuss reports from earlier today that he had told the Magic he was committing himself to remain with the team through next year.
“After the game.  Right now, we got to win,” Howard said in the pre-game locker room.  “The team meeting was between the team.  That’s all that matters.
“It’s frustrating.  It’s bad.  That’s it.  I don’t want you all twisting my words.  I’m sick of that.”
Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy was equally frustrated with the situation.
“Look, I don’t even want to talk about it,” he said.  “It’s so tiresome.  Nothing is new.  I’ve been dealing with this for three months. There’s nothing fresh to me.  I’m tired of it.  Talk to somebody else about it.”

UPDATE 8:55 p.m. from TNT’s David Aldridge:

A source with knowledge of the discussions confirmed Wednesday that Magic center Dwight Howard will not opt in and play for Orlando in the 2012-13 season.


  1. Jonathan says:

    Dwight “mr. Indecision” Howard.

  2. 3 way deal says:

    The Lakers shouldn’t be in pursuit of dwight… They already have the big man in bynum which is the 2nd best center on the league right now.. They need an athletic power forward in josh smith.. They should be trading for josh smith in a 3 team deal which inlcudes the bulls and hawks..

    Bulls should be trading away boozer and asik or taj gibson and in return they’ll get pau gasol..
    Lakers will then trade boozer and asik/taj to the hawks in exchange for josh smith..
    For me it’s a win-win-win for those 3 teams involve..

    Make sense?.. I think it’s a good one..

  3. DH#12 says:

    DH#12 all the way

  4. Brydon says:

    If I were Otis Smith I would send Dwight to the worst team I could find with something half decent to trade back.

  5. Jimmy says:

    8:55 NOBODY KNOWS ALRIGHT NOBODY IS REALEASING DETAILS.Dwight Howard is not sure okay.its a 50/50 gamble but you all should know that 75% of dwight minds is going and 25% is staying but dont let that 75% change your mind.

  6. Jimmy says:

    HEY dont think you guys who want dwight out of orlando is off the hook and the fans who wants dwight to stay are off the hook especially the one who wants dwight to leave.THIS STORY IS GOING NO WHERE so stop saying he is leaving he is staying the story goes back and fourth you dont know for sure okay you see in his eyes he wants to leave but he also wants to stay.Stop saying he will leave.

  7. CoronaRoyal says:

    Update: confirmed that Dwight won’t be in a Magic uniform next year. Baring a trade before 3pm tomorrow, D12 and D-Will coming to Big D next year. Go Mavericks!

  8. Juanes says:

    i knew it …he estay and then go in 2013 to Dallas or New Jersey. Is a fact…Dallas has a lot of money don not forget that

  9. Cavalier02 says:

    I think that Dwight is smart enough to see that the Magic have a chanc of winning the playoffs this year. So he’s gonna leave after this if he doesnt get traded. But anyway the Magic should trade him since he wont stay, just so they get something out of it. I THINK HE SHOULD GO to the LAKERS!!!

  10. Michael says:

    If Orlando is smart, deal him now just like Utah did with Deron Williams. He is going to walk. He is making the Orlando mgt team look stupid

  11. Ed says:

    Heat Starter: You don’t just get Dwight for nothing. You have to trade something to get him. Miami can’t afford him during free agency either. So no, Miami is not an option.

  12. The Heat Fan says:

    It doesn’t matter where Dwight Howard goes, the MIAMI HEAT are still going to win the NBA CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And you know this, MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Ed says:

    Hes a 20ppg 13reb dude, that is not irreplaceable. Trade him, teams will be willing to give up a whole lot for him, so get what you can while you can.

  14. Heat Starter says:

    Howard multiple choice? A.) BULLS B.) OKC C.) MIAMI D.) STAY ORLANDO…choice your destiny
    i choice C.) for CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE….

  15. The BigAl says:

    So many crazy comments here. It’s a tough situation. Most Magic fans would love the idea of Howard staying, but know the reality is he could walk in a few months with nothing in return. The Magic would have no star players which would cripple the team, and would have to spend the next 3 or 4 years hoping for some lottery success.

    The reality is if orlando exit early in the playoffs his gone, if they have a good run then he might stay long term.
    Magic really need to look at securing another piece to the puzzle before trade deadline.

    Have to look at offloading Jameer Nelson, and anyone else nessecary to Pair Howard with a good PG. Like Nash

  16. Rainman says:

    He jsut changed his mind again and refused to sign it…

    masterstroke by Dwight. Why? we all know about how he’s trying to not get traded so he can go to another team without them trading a whole lot of pieces to get him, now he’s making ORL management think they got a chance of him returning. He’s a prick

  17. roman says:

    good thing is: when howard optes in with he magic deron wiliams will join the mavs next year! dirk + deron = awesome!

  18. beto says:

    Just go for new franschise already
    try to get something in there , its not like u are lebroing orlando
    or is it?

  19. HeatLatinoFan says:

    dwight to go miami

  20. Farjal says:

    Dwight should really go to boston if he wants to ein one their still the same team from one year and two years ago only reason y they strugglin is cus of lockout same reason y magic and lakers strugglin but if dwight wants to win a championship he should go to boston

  21. Omar says:

    Let a free throw decide. If Dwight misses he signs if he makes it he can play til the end of the season and then leave as a Free man

  22. Rash says:

    From all indications and Dwights behavior indicates he wants out of Magic at the end of the season. He doesnt mind finishing the season with them so he can walk out free like Shaq, Lebron to a team still intact…Magic better get the best out of him while they can before he walks out on them…free advise for U!!!

  23. Omar says:

    Magic is in big trouble. The deadline is tomorrow and if they dont manage Dwight to sign or trade him he will leave in summer as a free agent like he has planned and leave the Magic there with empty hands and 0 stars to build on.

  24. Solution says:

    Trade Dwight for Wade

    Or better yet trade Dwight to Knicks for Chandler, Lin and Amare
    for Dwight, Nelson & Hedo

  25. MarkL says:

    The tug of war between what D12 wants to do and what his agent wants him to do is the issue. Dwight is the king of Central Florida. He has a home that he loves, he has family here, friends and a comfort zone. He totally realizes his importance to the Magic. He was the main factor that built the new Amway Center. This is a lot for a 26 year-old guy to deal with and while he is conflicted, I think he wants to be in Orlando long-term. If given another year, Orlando will put a third piece in place to sign him to a long-term deal. If Dwight stays another year, New Jersey is no longer in play because D. Williams will opt to go to Dallas.

  26. Let’s all remember that dwight is a human being..human beings waver on decisions, change their minds, say things they don’t mean…it happens…I’m just glad dwight decided to stay for the remainder of the season..its just hard to watch players walk away from revitalized franchises that they had an integral part in rebuilding..for more basketball check this out

  27. Bruno says:

    It’s pretty simple: any team that makes a big trade to acquire Howard is gonna have to get rid of too many good players, so Howard would end up in a team without many title chances. Otoh, if he waits until he is a free agent, he will be able to go to a team with an intact core.

  28. Cymon says:

    You just have to trade him. I’m a howard fan, even though I’m a jazz and nets fan :)) but you gotta trade dwight. You don’t wanna enter free agency next year and then he’ll just leave you with nothing. At least if you trade him, you have some pieces and some draft picks to start rebuilding.

  29. Mach 1 says:

    D12 should just stay and tell the management to get a decent player in dwill. They should have traded jameer nelson or just opted to stick with agent 0 as their starting pg. Agent 0 should dictate the tempo and renew his career with them.

  30. Don Myers says:

    I am encouraged this came up today. Dwight and his agent must sign a deal to stay thru the end of his contract and give the magic time to replace a couple of players as their contracts wind down. I mean he aggreed to this contract so he should be a man of his word. Also there is wisdom in the counsel of many. meaning he should listen to his family and good friends around him. Just saying Dwight!! LOL

  31. d.rose01 says:

    ..just go to the bulls dwight,there you will have a better future with rose.
    if orlando trade dwight and hedo for noah,deng and a draft pick of the bulls that would be a win-win for both teams.
    and if the bulls worried too much of howard not having a contract extension after the season, maybe he’ll also change his mind if they get a ring this year cause they’ll really beat the miami in the playoffs for sure if this trade happens.
    and for the magic, even they lose howard, atleast they get a compensation before ending this season rather than not having any in return if howard take the free agency this summer. deng and noah are young and also a great defensive and offensive players that will also help the magic rebuild the team for the coming seasons.

  32. KinG LEChoke says:

    Howard needs to be traded… they wouldnt want to end up like the cavs when they didnt trade lebron on the deadline…, I say trade him now and get something or let him stay and get nothing… the magic the way they are now. they are not a championship team..,

  33. Julien says:

    The problem is which team is ready to give anything for a player with a finishing contract… for exemple (and not possible anymore) ellis-howard… at the end of the season GSW would have lost ellis and Howard if decide to opt out. Right Now, Howard worth nothing on the market because of his contract (I DON’T TALK ABOUT HIS BBALL ABILITIES… HUGE FAN)… ORL can’t get anything

  34. Brendon says:

    if D.howard stays during the summer of course we’ll see deron williams come & sign with the magic because of course he wants to play with dwight. doing so will trigger other talented players to seek to join the two. speaking of players seeking to join stacked teams i think josh smith will request a trade for the magic to play along his long pre-school friend & also having super star point guard will make the magic look amazing.

  35. Fanatic says:

    Dwight Is To Go To Atlanta. End Story.

  36. SwagCulture says:

    I do not understand why the magic would not trade him if he doesnt sign an extension today.
    #1 he will 100% opt out if they dont trade him
    #2 they can get a few decent players right now if they just trade him ( bynum being one )
    #3 rebuild around bynum + ryan anderson & co

  37. D/T says:


  38. annonymous says:

    I say why ask Howard on what he wants to do? If you are in the front office you dont have to wait for him to make decision for the franchise, decide for yourself and you know whats best for the francise. They just have to trade him because if he really wants to stay, he should have signed that contract earlier.

  39. Jonathan says:

    Orlando better give it up already. Trade dwight now. At least, try to get some young players and draft picks for him rather than see him walk away ala shaq.

  40. bullsfan1 says:

    Howard dosent want the same thing to happen to lebron james

  41. Nosleeptillbrooklyn says:

    If the rumour is true and Adidas are gonna offer a 400m contract if he goes to Brooklyn , then he’s gone , money talks ! Howard will be a Net.

  42. Paul says:

    He thinks that he can carry his team to the Finals just because he won one game against the Heat? Shows how ridiculous he is lol

  43. sal says:

    i say howard go 2 nets in summer
    and nets hire mike Dantoni
    and nets have a D williams, D howard an mike D
    the 3 D’s

  44. SwagCulture says:

    if im the magic i would consider doing d12 straight up vs bynum.

    bynum would shine in a magic uniform simple as that
    he puts up solid stats with pau & kobe on his team.
    Imagine a team that relies on him etc #1 player.
    Kids time to shine i think.

    And if i was general manager of the magic i would do anything to do it now if d12 doesn’t want to sign an extension.

  45. PMan says:

    “Roll the dice” LOL Wow! If I’m the Orlando manager I’m trading him. Dwight Howard is committing to staying this season NOT long term. He saying everything, but about next season.

  46. Matt says:

    Dwight is selfish. The magic should trade him and get something valuable in return because he wants them to commit to him when he is hardly committed to staying

  47. MAGICFAN says:


  48. Orlando fan says:

    Force him to sign tonight is a good idea, at least orlando gain some control(benefit?). I mean the team is not bad right now. We added so many pieces around Dwight to make it top3 in east conference. If he doesn’t appreciate the work from the team or the fan. He should go. If he stays, he will still be the franchise player rather than sharing it with anyone else.

  49. Yeaahhh says:

    a good what? you won’t past the firt round brother. but it’s better if you stay you know why…

  50. jae Williams says:

    D Howard is being extremely selfish at this point. Dont get me wrong, Im a Nets fan and want him in Brooklyn. However, he is telling Orlando to “roll the dice”. He wants to finish the season with Orlando, and take a shot at winning. Then when they dont he will blame the organization and say “bye bye”, and leave them cold like Lebron left the Cavs! Orlando has to say sign an extension or we have to trade you now! He wants to finish the year with Orlando where he is comfortable, then after the season start fresh with a new team of his choosing. I dont see how Orlando benefits,…unless they win a ring this year. Orlando needs some backbone and just trade him and be done. H

    • Mino says:


      Sign Extension now or get traded. getting “lebronned” is not an option for the magic and if it is, hopefully the owner is smart enough to fire otis smith.

  51. tony says:

    im a huge orlando and howard fan… but at this point its kind of ridicuolous, i understand his frustration and confusion but he needs to make up his mind before the deadline by staying or saying he wont stay… and this time it has to be his final decision

  52. boybolitaslakititi says:

    we dont care about you howard…do what you want to do…

  53. Stefan says:

    Dwight:Well i wanna….
    Dude is just so confused by all the trade buzz!
    But i want him to leave Orlando because he cant get deep to the playoffs in Orlando.

  54. Danny Kogan says:

    if dwight wants to stay in orlando, he has to sign a extension…. if not, then he will leave next season… And he probably said to stay because he thinks they can win the title since they beat miami heat… but if they lose which would probably happen, he would leave… All im saying if he wants to stay he has to sign a extension, if not, trade him because atleast orlando would get something unlike nothing if he would leave in the offseason

  55. Dwight How Hard says:

    How hard is it to decide Howard?
    How hard is it to take a step Howard?
    Oh Howard, how hard is it?

    This is a novel, matinee, we gotta make a decision, leave tonight or live and die this way.

    Later Howhard

  56. svsdv says:

    i hate it how these superstars have all the power now they are just like spoiled little kids

  57. jesusfreak says:

    love jesus

  58. mr-plow says:

    Hate to sound like a broken record,but “superman” creating all this DWama isnt even worth all the hype in the 1st place. Defensively he is a beast,offensively he is a liability at best.

  59. asianpower-_- says:

    dwight howard is a dumby make up your frickin mind first they werent good enough for you now you have a great chance just cuz you beat the heat in the regular season smh just go youve already done too much damage

  60. jonny bones says:

    i really think howard wants to be there for THIS YEAR!! to see how things go with the team if they can make a deep run into the playoffs, but if they loose hes deff gunna opt out and leave during the summer. so the only thing for the magic to do is you have to trade him b4 its to late. i know hes the best big men today but for the long run you have to. you cant go on with hopes from howard saying that its a good chance i might stay. goo out and gets some young player and draft picks and build your team over again. do what Denver did last season Denver was doing better without melo with the young players that got from new york. plus the east is alot weaker so you will still have a chance to be in the top 5.

  61. isaiah says:

    dwight should go to the bulls

  62. White Howard says:

    they should bench him for openly demanding a trade.

  63. TrueBullsFan23 says:

    Just trade this man. If I’m a general manager, I’m not putting my team and my city, especially Orlando of all places, through this fiasco. He doesn’t know what he wants obviously, so get what you can and rebuild. Howard is trying to stay this year so his destination will not have to trade anyway anything and he will walk into a great situation. Get rid of him.

  64. wheelNdeal says:

    Look. D12 is just being selfish now. He doesn’t want to leave and play for a noncontending team (Nets, Warriors) right now. He wants to have a good season in Orlando and then leave in free agency. He’s just messing with the fans of Orlando now because he doesn’t want to be viewed as “The Bad Guy”. He’s cares to much about his image to actually to say what his real intentions are. If Orlando is smart they will deal Dwight unless they get a 100% confirmation that Dwight will resign. Bottom line

  65. Daniel Martins says:

    This is Disneyland… True or false? roll the dice? Enough of this nonsense! Either he signs the extention or will be replaced!

    • MCO says:

      Agree! Sign OR move on Dwight!

      • Schoowow says:

        You are kids. Best for Howard to finish this season he has on his contract, and he already stated he will not opt in
        for 2012 -2013. He’s been honest and everything, and he is doing virtually what’s good for Howard.
        Where is the problem.
        Once this season is over, they can’t threaten him to trade him to Minnesota, or Cleveland,
        So he will have all the cards.
        Isn’t this just plain, basic negotiations ?
        Now if I was “Clevelend” (or Nets, or “nerds LTD” or whatever) would I trade my best 2 players for just a
        few weeks with Howard, knowing he does not wish to be traded, and will not sign any extention ???

  66. Zalo says:

    Dwight is just as confused as we are. I feel like he doesnt know if these games orlando is winning (Chicago, Indiana, Miami) can push into the playoffs, so he does not want to make a commitment to stay with Orlando for the 2012-13 season, but on the other hand, he doesn’t want to cheat on Orlando in the offseason by just leaving in free agency, very tricky.

  67. Nba fan says:

    poor Orlando

    They will be one of the worst teams in the NBA in the next season

    Next time TRADE your STAR before it goes away FOR FREE DUMB F-UCKS

    If i was a Magic fan, i would literally go to the house of Otis Smith and kill him
    You had 3 years to get a DECENT player

    Enjoy being irrelevant for the next 5 years

    • BIGMatta23 says:

      Bit excessive there mate, is that comment even necessary?. The deadline isnt over yet so they still have time to trade him.

  68. RaymondG says:

    I say go for the Money Howard!!!!! which means to stay in Orlando and manage the team! after the next contract you can leave and talk about championships….if you couldn’t win it in orlando by then, that is.

  69. MAGICFAN says:

    ya i am getting tired of this too. we just have to trade him and take our LOSS.

  70. Orlando Swag says:

    i’m very confused right now…. will dwightt just say what he wants to do next season!!!!!!!! I a huge howard fan am finally getting tired of all the speculation. cant trust any rumors right now.