When the Orlando Magic pulled center Dwight Howard off the trading block, many believed it was because the All Star was waffling about if he really wanted to leave the only franchise he has ever known.
Not so, says Howard.
"It still stands," he told a group of reporters Thursday when he was asked about his desire to be traded. "There is no back-and-forth."
The Magic clearly are hoping Howard will reconsider, but it sounds as if he is still dead set on leaving Orlando. If the center brings that sort of attitude to each meeting with Orlando GM Otis Smith and CEO Alex Martins, it's hard to imagine the team will take the chance they lose Howard for nothing at the end of the season.
For the Nets part, they will need to keep pressing the issue with Smith and making sure they realize the monster deal that would have delivered Brook Lopez and Portland Trail Blazers forward Gerald Wallace can always be improved with more future picks and current young players to rebuild the roster.
New Jersey GM Billy King, known for putting together complicated multi-team trades, will also continue burning up the lines working on other scenarios that might help twist the arm of the Magic ownership to cut their losses with Howard. Sitting back and waiting for Orlando to come back to him would only give the Los Angeles Lakers a better chance to sneak in and bring the center West.