Dwight Will Stay … For Now Anyway




HANG TIME ORLANDO BUREAU — OK, it’s over. Move along. Nothing more to see here.

Dwight Howard went from being the face of the trade deadline to being an innocent bystander. He signed away his Early Termination Option, meaning he’ll be with the Magic at least until the summer of 2013 (at a cost to Orlando of $19.4 million). It ended a weird week in which Howard changed his mind several times, before giving the Magic at least one more chance to convince him to sign long-term.

Howard initially was only open to staying with the Magic this season, saying the team had to “roll the dice” on him this summer. And that was an upgrade over his stance at the start of the season, when he gave the Magic a list of three teams — Mavericks, Nets and Lakers — to trade him to. In truth, Howard was always cool to the idea of signing with the Lakers, and was only interested in the Nets and hooking up with Deron Williams, also a free agent this summer.

In a sense, by only guaranteeing one more year in Orlando, the Dwama will start all over again this summer. Until Howard inks a long-term deal, there’s always a chance of him leaving the Magic. But by signing the ETO, Howard has left the door open for an extension. It’s the surest sign that he can see himself in Orlando for the immediate future, if not the rest of his career.

The question now is: What can the Magic do to keep Howard long-term? The Magic don’t have any contracts expiring this summer. In the summer of 2013, contracts belonging to Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick disappear, but that’s not enough for the Magic to attract a top-flight free agent. The big ball-and-chain is Hedu Turkoglu’s deal, which has two more years to run.

Also, will Otis Smith be the general manager making that call? And what about Stan Van Gundy as coach?

Howard, Smith and Magic CEO Alex Martins will appear at a press conference this afternoon in Orlando. At least we know where Howard will be at the start of next season.

Beyond that? Not even he knows.

Some soundbites from the news conference:

Martins: “I want to thank Dwight for his loyalty, and I want to thank Dwight for recognizing what we as an organization have known for a long, long time. The city of Orlando is a great city … this is a great place to compete for an NBA championship.”

“We took a risk eight years ago on a young high school player when all of the experts said that wasn’t the right decision to make. Over the course of the last eight years, Dwight has grown with this organization and this organization has grown with Dwight.”

“Loyalty is hard to find. And [Howard] is to be commended for the loyalty he showed today.”

Smith: “The risk eight years ago wasn’t that great of a risk … The objective is to win an NBA title. We think the best chance to do that is with Dwight as a part of the franchise.”

“Dwight has probably shown you over the past few months how in love he is with the city of Orlando … and how tough a decision it is …”

“I am proud of the growth he has shown in the past few months …”

“We’re ready to get back to playing basketball and give you guys something else to write about … at least for the next few months.”

And from Howard: “First, I’m glad this is finally over with.”

“It’s [been] very hard. Talking about a career-changing event. Going back and forth.”

“I’m too loyal. I’ve always believed that loyalty is before anything. Alex knows this. Otis knows this. The whole DeVos family.”

“This has been the best time for our team in the locker room. We’ve been able to grow and bind … I commend those guys in the locker room for just playing basketball and just sticking together. ‘Cause it’s been tough.”

“I just love the city too much, the people here, the organization. I want to give it a shot. We have a great opportunity to do something special. But it’s going to take everyone, from the top all the way to the bottom.”

“Everybody has to believe.”

“I’ve had to look bad in the process of it, but I’ll take all that. I want this city to know that I love them and I love this team and I want them to believe in us.

“Everybody has to believe.

“I’m loyal. That’s just who I am. That’s my nature. I told my teammates, ‘I’m all in.’

“I just kept going back and forth.

“Everybody goes through this, when you’re trying to get a new job or do something else. Only difference was, mine was getting put out there.

“I did what I had to do.”


93 Comments

  1. Flexy says:

    Dwight, Dwight, Dwight…I thought you were smarter than that. Orlando is a “good” team, but CHAMPIONS they are NOT…Shoulda atleast got one ring with Kobe, it wouldn’t have hurt you to follow in your mentor’s foot steps for a season or two, which eventually you will have to do anyway in order to get a ring. Don’t end up on the “greatest players of all time w/o a ring list” Its just terrible to see such wasted talent. If you love the state of FL go to Miami, you will win a ring there, and again its just ironic that your mentor won one there too! Even Superman knew not to mess with certain things, and Orlando is your Kryptonite, you shoulda got out while you could have w/o the risk of looking dumb. You say your loyalty kept you, I say fear…So sad. Atleast you will get to share a moment and be there when Vince retires, another great w/o a ring…

  2. ha says:

    Orlando lives and dies by the three point shot. They will never win a championship.

  3. Denis says:

    C’mon man…after making such a fuzz about wanted to be traded…at the end THIS!? He will be leaving Orlando next year anyway. So why not right now and help building a good basis in NJ? I cannot believe this was all about money. And by the way, he was talking about loyalty? In that case, this drama was really not needed…. I thought he was a modest and smart guy, but you never learn…

  4. How it New Jersey a loser in all of this if Dwight will sign with them in FA and NJ doesnt give up any draft picks by trading for him??

  5. Bruce Arnold says:

    What? According to all the so called “experts” on the NBA Channel he was suppose to get traded.

  6. Sport Caster says:

    If the New York Knicks dont get it together I believe thier will be a trade off between these 2 teams next year trading Melo man for D12. Personally I rather keep Carmelo. Get ready Orlando fans for a very disappointing season. Go Knicks …………………

  7. Mateo says:

    Deron Williams will leave the nets for sure and stay as a FA and sign for Dallas where he wants to play, And maybe Dwight Howard to follow

  8. Michael13 says:

    Go for triple D (3D):

    Dirk
    Dwight
    Deron

  9. gBe says:

    D Will in Magic uniform next season

  10. alex says:

    great day to be a magic fan :)

  11. Kristian says:

    I am glad he stayed put. I am a huge Jazz fan and hate watching star players leave.
    Orlando are only 1 piece of the puzzle away from being a serious title threat.
    I am hoping they get a D-Will style player but who knows if that can happen.
    D-Will and Howard would perhaps need to take a pay cut each.
    Turk is still good, just over paid in my eyes. Amazing what a good finals series can do when you are about to sign a new contract.
    GO JAZZ!

  12. John says:

    Howard will win no ring. believe that

    • JDish says:

      I will remember your comment my friend. Many great NBA players were never able to win a championship. But that doesn’t mean a player will Absolutely Not win an NBA chip. It comes down to the right situation, the right team, the right chemistry, the right group of players, and lots of hard work and determination.Yea Dwight will probably never win a chip, but its not set in stone. A good example of this is Dirk Nowitzki, who many were beginning to say he would be a star player that would never win a championship, but did. The right team, the right players, the right situation, the right mind set. I still hope Dwight can one day be part of a championship team, whether it’s Orlando or anywhere else.

  13. Go magic!! says:

    superman comes back!!

    Agustin from Argentina

  14. JDish says:

    OK ORLANDO DWIGHT HOWARD DID HIS PART NOW ITS YOUR TURN!

    Now its time to improve the roster. You probably can’t get ride of Hedo for now, but atleast look to improve at other positions. FOR SURE move Jameer Nelson and upgrade the point gaurd spot. Don’t get me wrong Nelson is a good guy and a decent pg, but you truly need an upgrade to contend against the other star pgs.

    And if necessary make a coaching change. Let Van Gundy go and bring in Nate Mcmillan.

    The purpose is to show Dwight that the Magic are working to improve the team and make it the Finals… AND WIN!

  15. TooMagical says:

    The funniest thing is…the Magic are going to be major players in the 2013 off-season. You know they will have 30 million dollars to sling around? Do you know they can grab a Monte Ellis and a Josh Smith for that money? Sorry, but the Magic are keeping Dwight for the long run and I guarantee you that is what they sold him on. The 2013 off-season will be the best off-season in Magic history.

  16. DBoy671 says:

    im tired of watching the heat when it matters the most. i love Pat Riley, Bosh and Dwayne Wade. lately, the Heat (ARE) without the will and commitment to win. if they play with hustle and will to win, play like they’re on the bottom of the list i know that they’ll get done. just because you 3 superstars doesn’t mean everything is easy on out. they still need to play with intensity and must have killer instinct. ALL CHAMPIONS HAD THE WILL AND COMMITMENTS AND MOST OF ALL TEAMWORK AND INSTINCT TO GO ALL THE WAY!!!! the heat sometimes play with those mentality and physically. sometimes they expect to win just because they got talents. talents is nothing but if you know to use effectively…..you’ll get it done. everyone got talents. if you don’t know how to use them, its just a waste of talents.

  17. james says:

    hmm i wonder if D12 leaves next summer he will be as hated as Lebron… im guessing probably not…

  18. O.G Bird says:

    CHECK-MATE; They called his Bluff

  19. Saulius says:

    Great news about DH12, now the mission should be – get D-Will, for hedu, duhon, and Nelson if needed. I think Baby has to go as well.. i don’t see him giving that as it is expected from him..

  20. LEbron says:

    Wow! That was ridiculous!

    What was worse:
    LeBron’s DECISON or Dwight’s INDECISION?

    Lost a ton of respect for the guy. They don’t make ‘em like they used to (Russell, Wilt, Magic, West, Bird, Dr. J….never behaved like this. They were real men. This league is full of spoiled kids).

    One thing’s for sure – the players are in total control.

  21. flesch says:

    ok guys here in lies the problem . all of you who are happy about dwight staying that is great and i am happy for you in orlando but please understand that your team is being held hostage by a young man who does not have a clue what he wants and honestly i think he feels trapped . but that is not the major concern here the concern for all of you is that this is just for a year so i hope your team can either get it together or build a better squad . as is they are a very competitive bunch when they want to be but im not sure they all want to be great especially dwight . now for the guys who think this is how a real franchise player acts , and doesnt leave his team i would agree but dwight is not the model for this comparison you should look at durant , or rose . both signed with their current team longterm and yes got paid handsomly just like dwight except without all the lebron like dwama . so to be he is actually geetting about as annoying as brett farve quit waffling just make a decision what the heck is one year going to get you dwight no player or great player wants to sign with someone who flat out doesnt commit to his city or team at least ledouche got it over with after he got his 15 minutes . dwight wants a recurring role on dwama with dwight . GOOD LUCK ORLANDO , GO BULLS !

  22. SYDALE says:

    I don’t know why people think that Deron Williams will go to Orlando… They can’t afford to sign him as a free agent… Orlando is WAY over the salary cap… LOL

  23. RVN says:

    yes superman never live us all they need best bck up fo howard

  24. tony12314 says:

    Lol. I hope Howard regrets this move. It is a big mistake to stay with the Orlando. If he was and wanted to compete for a championship, then he would have asked for the trade. Loyalty is bs in the NBA. It is a business do what is best for yourself… if the goal is to win a championship, which it should be for all high caliber players

    • Steve0320 says:

      That’s probably why Dirk spend his entire career in Dallas and still win a champ right ?

    • anonymous says:

      ahem….says the nets fan. If he got traded to say the Nets, the team going to Brooklyn next year would not have had any other players…

  25. ryno says:

    d will is going to orlando!!!! watch!!!! him and then melooo

  26. Queen says:

    GET OVER IT!!!!

  27. ghaaD says:

    ask for hill and nash to orlando pleasee ring.. ring

  28. Rose says:

    Go to Chicago Dwaight !

  29. tapk says:

    if anyone here thinks Orlando can beat the Bulls or Miami in a best of 7 , wake up now…

    One more year of Howard drama? how can Orlando accept this ? If he really wants to stay , just sign an extension and talks are over

  30. denise says:

    I’m so excited that Dwight decided to stay! Made my day!!!!

  31. Renato says:

    Interesting move.At the beginning of the trade talks i thought he would leave.It´s great for the Magic.But they must keep in mind that this situation will repeat itself next season unless they can bring some extra talent to the roster.

  32. prix says:

    This my friend is a real franchise player, not one of those players that ditches their team on national television in a 1 hour special ( no names mentioned )

  33. Farideh says:

    Very happy he will stay in Orlando

  34. jiggsCEBUphilippines says:

    Dwight, loyalty has no place in the nba.. after all, this is business.. you wasted another year of your career.. go to the PBA and play with BARANGAY GINEBRA KINGS for sure you will win all the championships you want playing along side with mark caguioa and jayjay helterbrand.. or else during GINATILAN summer league PLAYING with the G-BEACH.. they can afford to pay you 20 million for one season.. jiggs of cebu

    • D12 says:

      No! Play with Talk and Text tropang texters with the “mighty mouse” Jimmy Alapag and Kelly “the Machine Gun” Williams =) MVP can pay you 50 million =)

  35. Murat says:

    I guess Howard is pleased to play with Hedo. DWill must join them for a championship.

  36. Esteban Ossa says:

    Thank you! Howard!

    I watch NBA cause of you! thank you for believing in Orlando!

  37. Bootyman says:

    “Howard was always cool to the idea of signing with the Lakers”
    Im no insider, but exactly where did this statement come from?
    Did Howard say this?

    My 2 cents – he wasn’t going anywhere, just the old salary boost trick.
    If blame lays anywhere, it’s with the media hyping it up.

  38. whatupbrandonjennings4eva says:

    so thats what we were all waiting for the last months? d coward could have done this way before so we wouldnt have wasted our time talking about that bs.

    very disappointing!!!

  39. Thunder Fan says:

    PG=Westbrook/Nelson
    SG=Harden
    SF=Durant
    PF=Ibaka
    C=Howard

    That team can win championships

  40. Me says:

    what an idiot. magic wont get past 1st round lol

  41. Andre says:

    bRING back Courtney Lee !

  42. Andre says:

    CHUPAAAAAAAAAAAAA NETS !

  43. Matt says:

    Keep Hedo and get Dwill to win the championship! No need to repeat Carter mistake…

    • Guerra says:

      Dwill does not want to go to orlando. He is going to Dallas where he has stated he wants to go, he would have stayed in New Jersey if Dwight came but he is staying so he is not about to wait another year. Face the facts man, D will has no long term relationship with his fans like dwight has. He will move, and Orlando does not have the money to pay him the long term contract he deserves.

  44. willie says:

    d-ho chose big bucks where he’ll be receiving most next year. other teams can’t give him equal or more than what orlando can. he chose money over where he really wanted to be (NJ/LA/DAL)

  45. Guerra says:

    The one that suffers the most here is New Jersey, they will end up losing D will to the mavs! They should have been more agressive in signing Dwight last night and gave up some prospects and picks to guarantee about 6 successful years in New York! This was all a game of pocker, one did not play all the cards and with it goes the opportunity of winning the entire pot!

  46. Juan says:

    The one that suffers the most here is New Jersey, they will end up losing D will to the mavs! They should have been more agressive in signing Dwight last night and gave up some prospects and picks to guarantee about 6 successful years in New York! This was all a game of pocker, one did not play all the cards and with it goes the opportunity of winning the entire pot!

  47. Jason says:

    Where is that guy who kept saying on these comments that howard was going to miami? i so wanted him to comment his disappointment that he was living in a dream world lol. as for those who think howard wont win a championship with orlando, i think u are all dead WRONG. i wouldnt be surprised now that all this is over to see orlando pull ahead of the heat and take the southeast, and go all the way and win a championship. i guess time will tell

  48. Ivan says:

    Right decision!!!

  49. Fatboy says:

    Chris Broussard sounded so confident last night that Dwight was gone.

    Wonder what he has to say now.

    Sombebody needs to hold these “insiders” accountable for all the times they get it wrong.

    Broussard was saying a few weeks ago that the Celtics were trying hard to trade Rondo.

    At what point are these guys no longer considered “insiders?”

  50. Big Al says:

    Don’t let that dog Kris Humphries win a ring. Write New Jersey off your intended destinations. Get Orlando to upgrade the PF spot as a start of a serious title contender.

    • Corey says:

      You’re joking right? Ryan Anderson will be on the all star team next year if he keeps his current play up… He has proved is a legitimate PF this year.

  51. Drew Gorden says:

    Figured this would happen. There were just too many speculations about where he was or wasn’t headed, However, they may not be out of the woods as yet. With no expiring contracts this summer, what motivation will Superman have to stay put? The Magic aren’t going to be contenders as long as the Heat and the Bulls are playing the way they are right now–Those two along with Indiana can only get better.

    • Bootyman says:

      Dude,

      The Magic just beat the Heat and the Bulls, the way they are playing now.

      The Magic ARE contenders, and the playoffs will prove it.
      Side note – they beat Indiana too.

      • Lepiv says:

        Dude,
        The Magic are contenders, and they match up pretty good vs Miami, but as well as the Bulls are playing right now you gotta remember that they’re still not a completely healthy team -and that’s an understatement- which makes it scary what they can do with a healthy team that is clicking on all cylinders.
        Now, if all role player’s on the Magic played consistently with high energy they can be trouble for anyone.

  52. CargoCult says:

    New Jersey vs Orlando Friday night. Glad Dwight is still playing for the home team.

  53. Karl says:

    Thanks you Dwight!!!. Please Otis bring Deron in the summer!!!

  54. noop says:

    they should get D-will this summer

    PG-Dwill
    SG-RJ
    SF-Hedo
    PF-Anderson/big baby
    C-D12

    and yes please get rid of stan van gundy!

  55. Chris says:

    I love it. All the “so called” know it all commentators bashing the Magic, telling us to let him go, stop living in a dream world, he doesn’t want to stay. They were all 100% sure he was leaving. Wrong Again!! Stick to what you are good at, calling the games. You aren’t psychics or the players agents. Stop talking out of your rear end, cause it makes you less credible.

  56. THOMAS ØKSNE ELVERHØI says:

    so happy…..thanx dwight

    thomas from Norway

  57. Kenneth says:

    orlando should build a championship team around Dwight!!!

  58. steagle says:

    And now begins the chain reaction of events… to start things off, D-Will leaves Nets at the end of this season…

  59. willie says:

    can’t they get rid of hedo’s contract through the amnesty clause? if not this year, then get rid of him next year.

    • shhh says:

      that’s actually a great idea!
      however, a team can only amnesty 1 player in each CBA I believe, they’ve already used it for arenas.

      • BaD App1E says:

        Yes….we already have used it on Arenas. Heard he might get picked up by another team which would help the Magic too.

        Thanks Dwight for sticking around! I’m a season ticket holder and I can’t wait to be at the game on Friday to hear how loud the cheering is going to be for you!

        D12 FOREVER!

        GOOO MAGIC!

  60. nuno says:

    well dat’s disapointing -.-
    i mean i really like d 12 it’s my favourite player, but i don’t think he’s going to win any championship in that Magic team!!!
    smh !!

    • Corey says:

      Said the below .500 New Jersey Nets fan.

    • Rob K says:

      Oh, the championship IS COMING! I guarantee it… may or may not be this year but it’s around the corner for the Magic. Just see how they’ve been playing for the last several weeks,,, gearing up to the playoffs and knocking off some of the league’s best teams, such as the Bulls, Lakers and Heat. I mean, if Orlando is hitting on all cylinders, that’s a lethal team, no doubt!

      • BIGMatta23 says:

        and then in television salesman voice…” this is not a guarantee”
        Your guarantee aint worth a damn.

  61. jack says:

    I just hope the orlando organization learn from the past…. remember when they have shaq and after letting him go its like a slap in the face the team that gets shaq became the dominant champion team with shaq as one of the masterpiece…it’s not coincidence that they have howard today it’s faith that they have the best center again in the league something that tells them don’t waste it again, so please be the team that is destined to evolved around a great player.. and make no mistakes we will gladly accept howard if u will let him go…. lakers forever… so please be competitive and make the league more exciting more power to your team

  62. rpar says:

    yea dwight,yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeea

  63. charlesFTW says:

    very happy to see D12 staying with orlando. now all that orlando needs to do is get rid of the turkish player hedu(getting paid too much for a below average player)

    • mike reno says:

      Hello ,HT one of the best player NBA what are you talking about ?

    • Rob K says:

      Hedo may be getting overpaid BUT he IS a good player. He is a great screener and playmaker who works perfectly with Dwight. Yes, a bit inconsistant but is a complement to Orlando’s style of play.

    • JacksonFl says:

      Hedo and D12′s pick and rolls are lifesavers for Magic in many playoff games. Hedo’s game has no parade but he is a real teamwork player. Nelson and 2 Richardson’s should also improve their games, especially Rochardson this season

  64. Joe says:

    thank you! i didnt want him to leave but I thought he was for sure going to the Nets.