Throughout the strike-shortened 2012 NBA season, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard has been waffling back and forth in regards to his future with the team. Howard waived the early termination option in his contract to end the controversy, and stay with the Magic through the 2012-2013 season.
The exact reason why Howard did so has not yet been clear. Reports have surfaced that Howard signed the waiver to avoid a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers which was pending should he have decided not to do so.
Howard was pushing for a trade to the New Jersey Nets– a trade that didn’t make business sense for the Magic– and therefore, it appears his hand was forced by the Magic to avoid an unwanted trade to the Lakers (yes, I know this sounds bizarre):
According to league sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Orlando brass got fed up with Howard’s yes-no-maybe posturing and threatened to trade him to the Lakers, not his desired location (the Nets), if he did not sign an agreement to waive the opt-out clause for the final season of his contract. Howard eventually signed the papers, but only after he was told “he would be a Laker by the end of the day.”
It’s an interesting theory which make a relative amount of sense. Dwight Howard wanted one destination for the remainder of this season and beyond, and one destination only, New Jersey. The “threat” of a trade to the Lakers was evidently enough to persuade him to stay put for the time being and test the waters again down the road when things were more tenable.
With Stan Van Gundy’s imminent departure, things are not getting better in Orlando anytime soon.
More articles on Dwight Howard’s 2012-2013 opt-out:
Dwight Howard signed with Magic to avoid trade to Lakers: http://bit.ly/HnLhFA
Dwight Howard stayed with Magic to dodge Lakers trade: http://on-msn.com/IeuoxP