And you thought the Chris Paul situation was messy….
The Orlando Magic are considering filing tampering charges against two NBA teams for reaching out to Dwight Howard (who is still under contract to Orlando), reports David Aldridge at NBA.com. This report has been confirmed by other sources.
Those two teams are the New Jersey Nets — where Howard was reportedly going to be asked to be traded — and the Houston Rockets, tweets Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated. He adds that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and Howard allegedly met Thursday, which would be tampering if the meeting did take place. ESPN’s Chris Broussard confirms that there was a meeting in Miami and Nets GM Billy King was in attendance.
Future reports said the Rockets are now no longer on the Magic’s tampering radar or potential charges.
If the Magic can get proof of the meeting, it will file tampering charges. This is about the Magic trying to control the situation and how any deal goes down, NBA.com reports.
The Magic, the source said, will not let Howard dictate the terms of where he wants to go.
“This will not be another Shaq situation,” the source said. The Magic will “do what’s in the best interests of the organization” and will not be left with nothing.
It should be noted that Howard has dropped agent Dan Fegan and will now have his father represent him (a decision that became public in the last 48 hours). Howard left agent Aaron Goodwin last year after family members pressured him to (giving them a larger role). Howard clearly trusts his family, but usually when family and friends represent a player it turns out poorly.
If Howard and Prokhorov did meet, that is pretty clearly tampering. Especially since Howard then reportedly was going to be asked to be traded to New Jersey.
On the heels of the Chris Paul trade fiasco, this could slow down the process and keep Howard with the Magic for a while (although if Orlando thinks he will walk as a free agent they will deal him). We know the Lakers are interested, but would the league and owners allow that deal?