Yet Another Reversal: Howard To Opt In For 2012-13 In Orlando?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — In one of the wildest 24 hour stretches of NBA trade deadline history, Dwight Howard has finally changed his mind about changing his mind one last time and will reportedly not leave the Orlando Magic via trade today or free agency this summer.

The All-Star center reportedly decided overnight not to exercise the early termination option on his contract and remain with the Magic through the 2012-13 season. Which means Howard would stay in the city he has called home since entering the league eight years ago, delaying free agency for at least another year.

Howard told RealGM senior writer Jarrod Rudolph early this morning that he was done with the drama, admitted to and apologized for the mistakes he said he’d made in handling the situation and expressed his love for the city of Orlando:

“Man, listen, you know my heart, my soul and everything I have is in Orlando,” Howard told RealGM. “I just can’t leave it behind.”

Dealing with such a big decision was new territory for Howard.

To help with the process he sought advice from people he believed had his best interest in mind. All the while, his heart remained in Orlando. While he wanted to keep his options open, Howard’s intentions were never to alienate his teammates, coaches or general manager.

The circumstances, however, spiraled out of control and turned into something he never wanted to happen. Howard was very remorseful for the situation that he created, but eager to turn it around and show everyone who has been hurt by his actions how much he appreciates them and how sorry he is for Wednesday’s events.

“I have gotten some bad advice,” Howard said. “I apologize for this circus I have caused to the fans of our city. They didn’t deserve none of this. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. I will do whatever I can to make this right and do what I was put in Orlando to do.”

… “This has been a very hard time,” Howard said. “For me, my family and all of us. The fans deserve a better hero and I will make that happen. I love and appreciate my fans and this city.”

Magic fans won’t know what to do this morning as they await official word on Howard’s latest decision. Both he and his agent, Dan Fegan, have to sign forms saying that he plans to opt-in — the same paperwork he said he would not sign before the Magic played in San Antonio Wednesday night. And the same paperwork he reportedly told teammates and Magic executives earlier in the day that he would sign.

“I don’t think Dwight ever wanted leave Orlando,” a league source told late last night. “He has been getting bad advice. He’s been getting bad advice all along. He’s got people in his ear that want him to do one thing and he wants to do something entirely different. And he’s looking really ridiculous right now with the way this entire mess is playing out.”

Howard will no doubt have some repair work to do on his image, particularly with the fans in Orlando. They braced themselves for a potential trade late last night only to wake up this morning to yet another stunning reversal.

Stay tuned for more details, as this saga is still not over until the Magic receive that paperwork from Howard and his agent …


  1. Laker Fan says:

    Why didn’t Mitch Kupchekk offer MWP, Steve Blake, and Matt Barnes for DWight Howard?
    Are these guys all free agents???

  2. Laker Fan says:

    Why didn’t Mitch Kupchekk offer MWP, Steve Blake, and Matt Barnes for DWight Howard?

  3. dh says:

    Dwight Howard A Bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Milton says:

    Dwight, if you want to win Championships…. you must go to LAKERS, then again, if you don’t want a ring…. you can choose any other team.

  5. NBA is Fantastic says:

    Dwight staying in Orlando is good for the rest of the league. LA still has the second best center and are a championship threat. The Magic even with Howard will not win a championship unless they change coaches and bring in some help.

  6. Victor says:

    The Lakers should bundle Pau Gasau and Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard and Nelson. This is a fair trade. Nobody wants to see this drama next season. The difference between winning and losing is coaching. Van Gundy is a great coach as he has consistently won many games in the NBA.
    Please Orlando Magic trade Dwight Howard now so we can continue to enjoy basketball. My team is the Miami Heat and as a Floridan I take slight interest in the Orlando Magic’s drama – with Dwight Howard – to stay or not to stay. Always remember Shaquille O’neil who said recently that he went to the Los Angeles Lakers for more money because Orlando Magic would not pay the money he wanted. Those who ignore History will always pay a high price for such ignorance.

  7. Awesomesauce says:

    Dwight Howard is still my favorite basketball player…..even before Luis Scola. I like da Rockets alot because thats my home town but Dwight is still my favorite.

  8. Omg.i’m so happy to hear that thinks God

  9. sel says:

    lol n i thought lebron was bad last year, dwight howard shd be nominated for the “best soap” in the next emmys , actually y waste his time in nba, he shd just go hollywood n act…
    i pity the coach/players in his team, to live w such a prima donna

  10. winning123 says:

    bynum for Howard. Both talented young players and the magic need something for him before he just leaves.

  11. Magic Win says:

    Extension deal is the best deal Magic now could get from Dwight. Of course if this is not from a fake source, the Magic will have time to build another Title contending team roster. Well, Dallas was an good example for Howard to see. Nowitzki is a loyal franchise player and eventually he won the Final with a lot of respects. Those touching moments couldn’t have happened if the Heat were the final winner instead.

    @Walter is right. Orlando now is a very strong team, stronger than last year, remember? This will help the team to focus on the playoff this year. Big guy is still here in town man. No worry that the GM will recruit guard star like DWill to come if possible. Now it’s up to Van Gundy to solve last year playoff offense problems, and then we’ll have a great chance to get at least East Conference Title. We can beat the Bulls and the Heat. We can own the East.

  12. JFD23 says:

    omg! go to the NETS and teaming up with D-Will!

  13. LG-1 says:

    Dwight and the Magic have their best chance when Lewis and Hedo are in their primes.
    Now it’s up to D-Will to save Orlando.

  14. natefilewood says:

    I have to agree with @Walter. Sorry Sekou but you do jump on the haters list rather quickly when it comes to the Magic… there have been more articles criticising the Magic this season than any other team; which is crazy considering how many BAD teams there are (that were meant to rock the basketball world).
    The Magic are sitting 3rd in the East, which for such an [awful] * team is actually impressive. They have pulled together and are winning big games- even against the beloved Heat and Bulls- and despite the ‘dwightmare’, he has been unstoppable and has lead the team on the court consistently.. He may have been playig games off the court, but he has been more than a leader and true star where it counts most.

    * I do not believe the team are awful. Tweaks are needed, but they are not awful.

  15. Rich says:

    Im wondering what they promised him to make him stay behind the scenes.

  16. Adam says:

    They still need to trade him. I said it last night, I’ll say it again today. They need to trade him.

    If he’s listening to bad advice, that means there’s a part of him that doesn’t want to stay. There’s a part of him that wants to be in New Jersey/Brooklyn or LA with Kobe or wherever it happens to be. Whatever the location, it’s not Orlando. They’d be best served to cut ties with him today and move on from this.

  17. Derek says:

    Im confused someone help! Is Dwight staying in O-Town???

    • Derek says:

      i think he should come to lob city for deandre jordan, moe williams, and maybe a couple picks…sounds like a fair trade to me.

  18. LAKERS FAN says:

    youre the best we need you with our team you are the best and we know it and oyu are the worst guy

  19. JB says:

    Guys just be happy he didnt pull princess James move on you… he made a mistake he admited it and you still have one of the best centers in the game today… I was hoping he would come to Chicago so we can knock Heat off with ease but the way we beat them last night Rose less i thing we will be ok without him.

  20. KB24 says:

    Dwight we need you…Please come to the Lakers!with you in the L.A. we will be unstoppable…Nobody will be able to beat us!

  21. Gilbert says:

    Good decision, he just need a well determined supporting cast. Maybe this summer Magic could land a superstar that could totally erase his trade urge. Good luck D12.

  22. netsfan12 says:

    don’t stay in orlando howard cause you can’t win a championship there.
    The orlando magic is not a championship caliber team right now so go to the other team that can compete

    • Lakers says:

      Yeah men! Orlando magic is a weak team right now .. Go to the Lakers JUST like shaq he go to the Lakers and HE won a multiple championships.You are the last piece in the Lakers roster and if you are in Lakers nobody can stop Lakers

      • Walter says:

        You’re both way off. Orlando is the 5th best team in the league! 3rd in the East, right behind ELITE clubs like the Heat and Bulls. This is why Dwight is staying, because Orlando has a great squad. They just need to tweak their roster here and there. Which is exactly why he’s staying for another year.

        Keep your Hollywood dreams in Hollywood LA.

  23. MrWet says:

    I don’t know why everyone is celebrating, it just means we have another year of this drama coming next year.

  24. Jimmy says:

    I love how players stay with a franchise. Leaving for another damages your profile beyond repair. Look at Karl Malone leaving for the Lakers, for example. Or LeBron for the Heat. It’s just weaksauce, that’s what it is.

  25. Walter says:

    Sekou Smith is the worst columnist on

    He never posts and thought provking commentary. What he does is essentially write about band wagon topics. For example, when the Magic were in a slump, he was writing about how they’re in a downward spiral and the franchise was in jeapordy. More teams have been in slumps than he has written articles, but he went with the bandwagon commentary and called the Magic’ season a loss. Look at them now Sekou!

    Yesterday he wrote about how Orlando MUST trade Howard. When Howard’s best interests are in Orlando! Why should he go to the Nets when they have less of a chance of being a championship caliber team than Orlando? Why would he look like a mini-Shaq and follow in the footsteps to LA?

    Like I’ve said all along. Howard is a unique breed, and not just physically. He’s well grounded and doesn’t seek the glitz and the glam that Carmelo and Lebron did when they abandoned their teams. The Magic helped mold Howard into what he is today, he is the man in their city and he basically holds the key.

    I don’t see how it isn’t blatantly obvious that he would sign for at least another year, so the Magic can procure some talent for next season.

    Seems like a no brainer, but Sekou is quick to jump on whatever bandwagon is out there. TRADE HOWARD TRADE HOWARD. Give me a break, Orlando is where his home is. He has a great thing going there, and it’s no surprise to me that he’s leaning toward staying.

  26. sshhh says:

    so Dwight will be screwing Orlando next year and not this year? another year of circus?

  27. natefilewood says:

    As happy as I am, this only means that DWILL is NOT sticking around in Jersey beyond this season and Dallas hasnt got room for both and also, well, Kobe is staying in LA and he cant share the spotlight… Dont get me wrong, Im happy he’s a Magic player for a little while longer, but they need to get him some help if he’s going to stay long term… and Im not entirely convinced that he has stayed out of the love in his heart.

  28. Paolo says:

    D will cant wait longer!! wwaahhh!!!

  29. momo23 says:

    haha your lost howard 🙂

  30. blair56 says:

    If Dwight doesn’t opt in today you must trade him. This is not a “I’ll do it in the off-season.” sort of thing. Orlando needs to stick to their plan and get him to sign on the dotted line.

  31. HawksFan says:

    Come to Atlanta.

  32. ronald says:

    biggest mistake of his life (to stay)

    now he will never get championship ring.

    even though shaq left orlando he did got his championships rings.

    as dwight fan im really sad i couldnt see him suceed .

  33. CelticFan says:

    Fire your agent D12

  34. Jae Williams says:

    Let’s be be honest. Is it really D Howard changing his mind over and over? It is just these writers speculating to make a story. Unless it comes out of D Howards or his agents mouth, it is just “made up”…..Some unnamed source that wants to make a headline. With a life changing decision like this for D Howard…do you really think all these “leaks” would come out every hour..When does he have time to keep changing his mind? He is also playing great ball at the same time. Time will tell today…he will probably “change” his mind 8 more times according to these writers…

  35. Dave says:

    Dwight is giving us one more year. Magic front office get it together in the offseason and get D12 his one good player that he wants to play with (listen to him and he will give us an extension and never leave. Let’s go Magic!!

  36. namerequired says:

    he chose to stay ringless. so be it. GOOD luck to orlando, they’ll need it

  37. Jonathan Hanley says:

    omg leave Dwight alone he can do whatever he wants he can change his mind all he wants, Im an Orlando Magic fan and I don’t wanna see Howard go, but I know if he was meant to stay he’ll stay

  38. Luk says:

    I just want to see D12 in Lakers switching Gasol. That would be awesome.

  39. Hopeful Magic fan says:

    If that’s really what Dwight is going to do, well, this year will be our year! Magic go!

    This trade rumor has haunted the whole city, players for years. It has caused a lot of speculations, all looking down on Orlando Magic. I think this is the best outcome that Howard is willing to stay for the next season.

  40. mss627 says:

    Good on ya Dwight.

  41. basic says:

    I don’t think it will be hard to repair his relationship with Orlando fans since it was never really broken, every real fan of Orlando understood him, whatever he wanted to do. But this is just great news! I hope this means that Derron Williams goes for Orlando this off-season.

  42. uwa says:

    if dwight is staying, they have to upgrade, j-rich and nelson. i think hedo can still help dwight play better offensively.

  43. la fan says:

    now we can wait foe lakers nets trade 🙂

  44. Al says:

    Gota get that PAPER!

  45. Law064 says:

    I knew deep down Dwight wanted to stay in Orlando, this should be a warning sign. Let Dwight choose who he wants there with him. Give him help and he’ll be there until he retires. Good luck to D12 I hope everything works out with him and their team

  46. Rick says:

    I am from England so I’m not 100% sure how things work over there with players and agents, but do they work the same as over here with our “Soccer”? Over here you see players moving between teams so frequently that loyalty and players being fans of their teams are actually pretty much out of the window and it is mostly down to the agents being greedy and wanting more money for themselves from a big move by the player rather than the player’s happiness and/or best interests.
    Does anybody think that is the case in this situation with Dwight? He has become an Orlando fan and he wants to be there and wants this to be his team and all is well apart from not getting a ring, but his agent wants more and wants “bigger markets” just to get himself more money from it all maybe? …Just wanted to know any of you American guys’ views on it as you probably understand the Agent/Player relationships and situations over there better than I do.

    • Dave says:

      I believe Dwight in his heart wants to stay in Orlando he has always stated that he loves the city, loves the Orlando fans, and loves team. From reports that I have read other places one of the main reason why he wanted to move was because adidas wanted him in a bigger market (as if Orlando is not big enough) Dwight got a stadium built just for him. I understand his frustration over not getting a ring just yet and hopefully Steve Nash(Phoenix) will become available this off season and Orlando can add him to the team. But the loyalty to most players is good over here because alot of the players in basketball stay for long periods of team before moving on. I dont know how much you follow but this has been a big issue because the magic were already screwed a long time ago by Shaquille leaving us high and dry with nothing to gain and we waited along time for a great center to come around (Dwight) and we just dont want to be screwed over again.

  47. Dave says:

    Dwight is doing the right thing for his team, city, fans and reputation! He will go down as the greatest ever olrando player!!!

    He is making “lebron” look like even more of a sell out!!

    Great work for staying D12.

  48. Yugi-oh! says:

    that’s what you cal, magic in orlando

  49. Nemo says:

    Keith@ don’t be stupid men. Dwight stays in Orlando for sure…

  50. MIDOZ 24 says:

    go to L.A

  51. Ian says:

    Geez.. He’s loosing another year of his life sigh!

    • MackDaddy says:

      Yep… shouldve gone to Nets. Brooklyn’s saviour, championships, big market, Knicks killer.

      Goodluck in Orlando Dwight…. no rings but at least you’ll be popular!

  52. Max says:


  53. Jordan says:

    Does this mean DWill is likely to be moved since Dwight won’t be teaming up with him? Or will he and the Mavs just wait?

  54. Keith says:

    Omg dwight make up ur mind!! Ur seriously making Lebron’s “The Decision” look like no big deal.