Tag: Howard to Knicks

Dwight Howard

Magic GM: Dwight Howard’s trade list remains unchanged


There are no Chicago Bulls on the list. No Los Angeles Clippers, no Boston Celtics or Golden State Warriors.

While other teams keep trying to fill the Dwight Howard trade rumor void, Howard’s original list has not changed, Orlando GM Otis Smith told the Sun Sentinel.

Magic General Manager Otis Smith told the Orlando Sentinel that Howard’s camp has not indicated to the Magic that the superstar center has expanded his list of preferred trade destinations beyond his original three teams: the New Jersey Nets, the Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks.

Sure, Howard and Derrick Rose have a little mutual admiration society going. Doesn’t matter. If Howard would not agree to sign a long-term deal with the Bulls they are not about to trade away all the assets needed to acquire the best center in the game. (They might not anyway, the Bulls are contenders now and if they give up too much they could take a step back even with Howard on the roster.)

There is a Howard trade rumor void because the Magic are not looking to move him right now, they are trying to convince him to stay. Which seemed a lot easier a couple of weeks ago when the Magic were playing well. But Orlando has lost four in a row and is playing without energy or execution. Normally this is where a team leader like Howard steps up and holds teammates accountable, but is anyone going to listen to a guy with one foot out the door?

Howard can opt out of his contract at the end of the season and become an unrestricted free agent.

Video report: Knicks willing to trade Stoudemire to rent Howard

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The Knicks have opened talks that would send Amare Stoudemire to Orlando in a swap to rent Dwight Howard, reports Donny Marshall — former NBA player and current CSNNE reporter — on NBC SportsTalk Thursday. In the video above the talk of the trade starts at the 3:30 mark.

There are a whole lot of questions around this one. Starting with, the Knicks are not one of the teams on Howard’s list where he said he would sign an extension (Nets, Lakers, Mavericks and Magic). If they get him, the Knicks would essentially risk just renting him because Howard could opt out at the end of the season and leave with the Knicks getting no compensation. Clearly, if they got him they think they could get him to change his mind and sign long term.

Thing is the Knicks already have a good center — they just signed Tyson Chandler to a four-year, $58 million deal. Is the plan to ship Chandler out, too? Trade him to Orlando for the Hedo Turkoglu deal? Because the cost of keeping Howard (who will get a new max deal) and Chandler would put the Knicks way into the new, increasingly stiff luxury tax.

Would the Knicks really ship out Stoudemire, the guy who came in to inspire the fan base after the Knicks missed on LeBron James? That just seems cold.

This report comes just after we heard the Warriors are aggressively going after Howard as a rental.

Two things. First, if and when the Magic do decide to seriously entertain offers for Howard there will be bids from 29 other teams. He’s the best center walking the planet, a franchise anchor, you’d be foolish not to at least take a shot.

Second, if I were the Magic and were trying to get better offers out of the Nets and Lakers, I would be leaking all kinds of “hey, team X wants to give us all this just to rent Howard” rumors in an effort to drive up the price. I have no doubt Marshall heard this from a reliable source, I’m just saying this plays into the Magic’s hands. When you hear NBA rumors, think about who benefits from having that information public, it gives everything a different perspective.

Report: Dwight Howard has not told Magic his intentions

Orlando Magic v Atlanta Hawks - Game Three

Chris Paul has been up front — he sat down with Hornets officials on Monday and was pretty clear he was not signing an extension and returning to New Orleans. He is not stringing the Hornets along (which is little consolation for the team’s fans).

Dwight Howard on the other hand…

He has seemed conflicted and that is echoed in a new report from Ken Berger at CBSSports.com.

Dwight Howard has not yet indicated to Orlando management whether he wants to stay with the Magic, request a trade or play out the season and become a free agent, a person directly involved in the organization’s planning told CBSSports.com Tuesday….

The person familiar with the Magic’s strategy said Tuesday that, while Howard has yet to verbalize what he wants, the All-Star center has “deep roots here” and has previously expressed that “this is where he’d like to fulfill his career.”

“He wants to win,” the person said. “That’s on his mind intensely.”

In Orlando, they think they can keep him. So long as that is the case they will not trade him.

Orlando thinks it has a 50/50 or better chance because Howard is conflicted. He does have roots in Orlando. And he wants to be liked and he saw how Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James took hits for leaving their markets. In his heart I think he wants to stay.

But he also wants to win a ring, and he realizes that the Magic are a long way s from that right now. They are good with him, no doubt, but the pieces around him are not good enough to compete with the likes of the Heat and Bulls. And Orlando is laden with big contracts that are hard to move. Even with amnesty clauses and stretch provisions the Magic are not in a place to win for years and Howard is entering his prime.

His head and heart are in conflict, and the Magic think they can help his heart win the battle. So the process will drag out, with rumors swirling about the Lakers and the Bulls and the Knicks and 26 other teams until a decision is made.

Howard needs to be clear and direct. But he is not there yet. So he has told the Magic nothing.

Dwight Howard: “I don’t know what else I can do” in Orlando

Orlando Magic v Atlanta Hawks - Game Six

Once the lockout clock mercifully stops, the “what will Dwight Howard do?” clock will start. (Chris Paul will have one, too, but that’s not our focus today.)

Every time Howard speaks directly about Orlando, he says loving and glowing things. But ask him about his legacy and free agency — as Esquire Magazine did — and he sings a different tune. He sounds conflicted.

The tune he sang in Esquire to Scott Raab cannot make Magic fans feel comfortable.

“There’s more you can do in a bigger place. I’m stuck in a tough position because I feel like right now, where I’m at, I’ve done so much. And I just don’t know what else I can do. I can’t live for everybody else. I don’t know what decision I’m gonna make as of right now. It’s been crazy. Everybody wants me to come here, come play here, come to our team, do this. It’s a great feeling, though, to be wanted….

“The toughest part for me is the city — the people. They’ve got burgers named after me in Orlando, they’ve got a Web site saying, “Please stay.” I love the people in the city. I’ve literally sat on the bench with a towel on my head crying, because I feel the passion in the stands. I just think about what’s going to be best for what I want to accomplish in my life. And I don’t want that door to close on me, wherever that door is. I don’t want it to close.”

As we said in our look at the Magic after the lockout, GM Otis Smith has put himself in a corner. They need more talent around Howard, talent that fits better. They have a lot of big contracts from guys that are only moderately helpful, even if they can use the amnesty clause on Gilbert Arenas there is little room to maneuver. The only trade chip of real value is Jameer Nelson, but moving him creates a new hole to fill. There are a lot of challenges and not a lot of options.

To add to that, Howard talked Stan Van Gundy and coaching styles in his interview.

“Stan’s a great guy away from basketball,” Howard said. “He’s passionate. He loves the game. I have no problem with him off the court. The only thing I had a real problem with was the way he coached. It was very tough with Stan, because he yelled a lot, and I don’t want to be that guy to yell at my teammates along with my coach. Because they’re going to turn it all off. I had to find different ways to motivate my team. Sometimes when you have so much negativity, it’s really hard to be positive. I had a lot of negativity growing up, so I understand how to block the negativity out.”

This is the NBA, not a YMCA youth league, so there isn’t really a focus on positive vibes. Still, that factors in — if you don’t think the Magic would kick Van Gundy to the curb to keep Howard, you kid yourself.

I honestly think that Howard does not yet know what he is going to do, but he seems to be leaning going not staying.

Report: Howard, Magic talking two-year extension

Orlando Magic v New York Knicks

Dwight Howard keeps talking about how he wants to win in Orlando, how people shouldn’t be talking about him moving on.

But the only way silence the rumors is to sign an extension.

Howard and the Magic are talking about a two-year extension and it only awaits his signature, according to Orlando’s Local 6 Sports Director David Pingalore.

Take a lot of salt with this report.

No doubt the two sides have had some conversations and it’s reasonable to think the Magic have made this kind of offer. But that is different than the two sides agreeing to a deal. The fact remains that what Howard has really made clear is he wants to win a ring, and not signing an extension gives him leverage with the organization to force change. And the Magic roster does need to change.

There’s not a lot of negotiations here, Howard is a max player. The money is the money, it’s just years and if there are opt outs. Which means if Howard wants to get it done, it will get done fast. It hasn’t yet. Anything that gets done likely will be under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement after the lockout. Howard is smart enough to want to see that document and how it does or does not tie the hands of the Magic in restructuring the roster before he commits.

But the two sides are talking. No doubt.