Just when you thought that all of the Dwight Howard drama was over, it starts up once again. Recently reports started to swirl that Howard has asked for Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy to be fired, Howard refuted the reports and a similar report came out stating that Howard never asked for Van Gundy to be fired, rather it was Orlando’s front office that did. But apparently, regardless of whether Van Gundy is gone next season, Howard does not want to be a part of the Magic any longer.
On SportsCenter on Saturday Stephen A. Smith came on and laid out the future, according to his sources, of Dwight Howard. Here is the quote from Stephen A., “The minute this season is over, according to what I am hearing from his camp, you can expect Dwight Howard to tell Orlando. ‘Get me out of here. I don’t want to be here any longer… When he had his back surgery, they were talking about giving him a flight on AirTran or something like that. This is the kind of stuff that I’ve been told in the last 24 hours in terms of how they’ve treated him. He feels as a superstar, he’s been treated as a scrub.”
If Stephen A.’s sources are correct, pertaining to the type of flight that the Magic wanted to give Howard, then it would not be a surprise at all to me if Howard did in fact request a trade this off-season. Heading into the NBA trade deadline it seemed as though Howard was not committed to the Magic at all, but rather his own desires. Howard’s teammates have also not exactly come to his defense which may be a telling sign of whose side they are really on.
As things stand right now all signs seem to be pointing to the fact that Howard, regardless of whether or not he truly asks for a trade this off-season, will not be in Orlando past next season’s trade deadline. Assuming Howard does get traded, the three teams originally on his list, the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks would seem to be the top destinations. But a recent report came out stating that Howard signed with the Magic simply to avoid a trade to the Lakers. If this report is indeed true then it would seem that the Lakers could automatically be eliminated from Howard’s possible destinations.
If, and when Howard is traded, and as of right now all signs are pointing to it just being a matter of time, then the likely destination is the New Jersey Nets. Both Howard and Deron Williams are good friends and have wanted to play with each other for a while now. Going to the Nets would ensure that Howard would be happy with his current team, and on a team with a real chance at making some noise in the playoffs.
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