Dwight Howard says he has not withdrawn trade request

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The Orlando Magic may not be shopping Dwight Howard around, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to be shopped.

Howard said Thursday his trade request is still on the table, the day after Magic GM Otis Smith said that Howard was off the trading block for now. After that, Howard worked hard to dodge all conversation about being traded.

“There’s no back and forth,” Howard said. “It still stands and we know what’s going on. I talked to Otis today. What we talked about is gonna stay between me and him….

“Right now me and Otis are gonna continue to try to make this team better,” he said. “And I’m gonna do my part on the court. That’s the reason I’m here. To get our team better and to make myself a better leader for this team.”

The problem is there are serious questions about how much better this team can get, with or without his leadership, which is why he wants to be traded.

Howard is going to try to dodge similar trade question every day until he is moved now. Smith said what he did to throw some cold water on the process, to give himself time to craft deals he wants rather than to have offers thrown at him. Oh, and to see if Howard might be persuaded to change his mind. (Orlando was on Howard’s list of four places he would sign an extension, along with Dallas, New Jersey and with the Los Angeles Lakers.)

Bottom line, the request is still on the table and the Magic’s options are limited.