Orlando Magic Should Choose Dwight Howard's Happiness Over Stan Van Gundy's Coaching

By Steven Resnick

Dwight Howard’s reputation as a star NBA player has been torn to shreds after flip flopping on whether he wanted to be traded from the Orlando Magic. Now it has been reported that Howard will be seeking a trade from the Magic during the offseason as laid out by the article from Joshua Casey. The Magic though should do everything in their power to keep Howard and if it means firing head coach Stan Van Gundy, making changes in the front office and bringing in a better supporting cast for Howard, then there’s no question that should be done.

The Magic have already lost a superstar center before in free agency in Shaquille O’Neal and from what it appears Howard will be on his way out as well via trade. Unlike when O’Neal left, the Magic do not have the talent to remain in the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference next season. Only one scenario that may work out well for the Magic would be to trade Howard and acquire the no.1 pick year’s NBA Draft. Most NBA Draft experts are indicating that Kentucky’s Anthony Davis will be the no.1 pick.  Yet, Davis could still take a number of years to develop and would not make sense for the Magic with Howard already being a proven commodity.

So, what should the Magic do? Keep Howard happy! It really is that simple.

For the Magic the first step would be to let go of Van Gundy as it is never a good idea to choose a coach over a star player. The Golden State Warriors franchise found out the hard way why that is the case. At the time Nelson was the coach and he was not getting along with star forward Chris Webber and instead of telling Nelson to take a hike, the Warriors traded Webber to the Washington Bullets for Tom Gugliotta and he didn’t even last a full season with the Warriors and was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Donyell Marshall.

After letting go of Van Gundy the Magic should consider replacing General Manager Otis Smith only because he has not been able to bring in players that can take the pressure off of Howard. Right now the Magic roster is filled with role players some good, some not so good. It also didn’t bode well for the Magic that Howard’s season ended early due to a back injury that required surgery, so far Howard has missed 10 games this season and in the games without him the Magic are just 3-7.

Position upgrades at point guard and small forward are a necessity as Jameer Nelson is a decent point guard and Hedo Turkoglu continues his decline and really should be coming off the bench. The bench consists of Glen Davis hasn’t been as effective as he was as a member of the Boston Celtics and J.J. Redick has been the only consistent scoring threat off the bench.

If the Magic are able to bring in a new coach, make the change at GM,  and upgrade at least two of the starters and the bench as well it will show Howard that the organization is dedicated to keeping him happy and giving him the best chance at winning a championship. With the roster at the moment it’s really not surprising that Howard has flip-flopped and is not too happy with the organization.


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