Any reports that leak out of these intense meetings like the Orlando Magic had with Dwight Howard Monday need to be taken with a grain of salt. Or a handful.
That said, the report out of Hoopsworld about where Dwight Howard stands with the Magic makes some sense.
First, because it notes he is not going to sign an extension with the Magic no matter who they sign or what they do because that is not the prudent financial move. An extension right now could only add two years to Howard’s contract (the new labor deal says an extension can never take a player past four guaranteed years). If he plays out this season, opts out of his contract then re-signs with the Magic as a free agent he can get five years, $100 million. So the smart play is to opt out no matter what.
The question is does he re-sign with the Magic? Yes, if he thinks they can get him a ring.
What that means to Dwight is that he wants the Magic to be contenders, and to that end Orlando has a short list of players they would like to add in an effort to return to contention. Atlanta’s Josh Smith, Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala and Golden State’s Monta Ellis are on that list.
First, in an east with a loaded Heat and a loaded Bulls team, is that enough? Second, the Magic will have a hard time pulling off a big trade because they don’t have the young pieces anybody wants (Ryan Anderson and J.J. Redick are nice, but would you give up Iggy or Monta for them?).
What the real take away from this should be is that the Howard saga is not going to end soon. If he gets traded it will be closer to the trade deadline months from now than before the season starts.