Here’s a little different spin from the standard “the Magic aren’t going to trade Dwight Howard because they want to keep him” take:
The Magic couldn’t trade him if they wanted because Howard never gave up his power over the situation.
Here it is, from Ken Berger at CBSSports.com.
“The player holds all the cards,” said one person on the periphery of the Howard saga. “He’s killed (Orlando’s) market.” By making it clear that he’d only sign a long-term deal if traded to the Nets, Mavericks or Lakers, Howard has the leverage for now. The only way he loses is if the Magic send him to a team on a rental basis, thus cutting off Howard’s chance at getting a five-year deal as a free agent. Staying in Orlando is the only way Howard can get the fifth year under the new rules, and indications are that he’d like to hang onto that fallback option as long as possible. It’s up to the Magic whether they afford him that chance.
In the end, the Magic can move him if they want, but I still think they just don’t really want to. The fact Howard depressed the market just made that decision easier.