Dwight Howard Rumors: Magic Center Not Moving After Signing Opt-Out Waiver

Dwight Howard will stay in Orlando with the Magic this season and next after waiving his opt-out clause.

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Dwight Howard Rumors: Magic Center To Sign Early-Termination Waiver, According to Reports

A few hours after learning that Dwight Howard doesn't want to be traded before the NBA's 3 p.m. deadline Thursday, NBA fans are learning the Magic's center is planning to sign his early-termination waiver to stay in Orlando for next season too. The news initially came from Jarrod N. Rudolph, a columnist from RealGM, and confirmed by ESPN's NBA insider Chris Broussard.

Here's what Williams told RealGM.com:

"Man, listen, you know my heart, my soul and everything I have is in Orlando," Howard told RealGM. "I just can't leave it behind."

Howard's preference seemed to change depending on whether he was communicating with the Magic on his own, or with members of his camp.

"I have gotten some bad advice," Howard said. "I apologize for this circus I have caused to the fans of our city. They didn't deserve none of this. I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart. I will do whatever I can to make this right and do what I was put in Orlando to do."

The news comes after earlier conflicting reports from ESPN's NBA insider Marc Stein, who reported that Howard was refusing to sign the opt-out clause, while Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski said was changing his mind. It seems the latter was the case.

For more Dwight Howard, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream. Visit NetsDaily for more about the Nets and the NBA trade deadline.

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Dwight Howard Rumors: Stay With Magic? Force Trade To Nets? It's a Dwightmare!

The 'Dwightmare' has to come to end Thursday -- at least for now. That is because the NBA Trade Deadline looms at 3 p.m. ET. Will Howard stay with the Orlando Magic? Will the Magic tire of the whole mess, refuse to gamble that Howard will stay long-term, and trade him to the New Jersey Nets.

The future directions of two NBA franchises hang in the balance of Howard's seemingly ever-changing mind, and heart.

Two of the best basketball beat writers in the business came out with vastly different reports on the Howard situation early Thursday morning.

Marc Stein of ESPN reported that Howard had refused to waive his opt-out clause, meaning that he could become a free agent July 1 if the Magic roll the dice and decide to keep him for the remainder of the 2012 NBA season. Stein's report indicated that the Magic were all but certain to trade Howard to New Jersey on Thursday.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, however, reported that Howard had changed his mind yet again. Wojnarowski reported that late Wednesday night Howard gave an interview indicating he would sign paperwork waiving the opt-out clause.

"Man, listen, you know my heart, my soul and everything I have is in Orlando," Howard told RealGM. "I just can't leave it behind."

Wojnarowski wrote, aptly, that the situation has "disintegrated into complete chaos."

All we know for sure is that by 3 p.m. Thursday we will have an answer.

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Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Magic Center Changes His Mind... Again

The drama surrounding Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard has been going non-stop the last 24 hours and reached a fever pitch after most of the country had gone to bed. Reversing course -- AGAIN -- Howard says he will stay with the Magic at least through the 2012-13 season.

Things started to twist out of control early Wednesday when the star told his teammates he was "all-in" for this season, with his eyes on a title run. Then came word Howard told Magic management he would waive his early termination option to prevent the team from having to trade him before Thursday's deadline.

Of course it didn't stop there. Howard and his agent, Dan Fegan, said on a conference call with the team that the All-Star would not be waiving his ETO and would become a free agent on July 1.

So the Magic would be forced to ship Howard out, right? Not so fast.

Early Thursday morning, things changed... again.

Howard told RealGM's Jerrod Rudolph he would indeed terminate his ETO and opt-in for at least next season.

"Man, listen, you know my heart, my soul and everything I have is in Orlando," Howard said. "I just can't leave it behind."

In what sounded like he would be moving on from Fegan as his agent, he also made it clear this confusion was due to bad advice.

"I have gotten some bad advice. I apologize for this circus I have caused to the fans of our city. They didn't deserve none of this. I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart. I will do whatever I can to make this right and do what I was put in Orlando to do."

Despite his words, nothing is official until Howard -- and his agent, if he is still employed by the center -- signs the ETO. That is the only way the Magic will halt trade talk with teams around the league. Howard said he would sign it early Thursday.

If he does opt-in for next season with the Magic, that will throw a massive wrench into the New Jersey Nets plans for their move to Brooklyn. The long-term future of Howard might still be in question, but he was seen as a the key to keeping free-agent-to-be Deron Williams with the Nets next year.

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Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Magic Want Howard To Waive Opt-Out Clause

Superstar center Dwight Howard told the Orlando Magic Wednesday afternoon that if the team does not trade him by Thursday’s NBA Trade Deadline he would not opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer. Now the Magic want him to prove it.

NBA.com is reporting that the Magic have given Howard a deadline to sign paperwork waiving the opt-out clause in his contract. The report indicated that the Magic would trade Howard if he does not sign that paperwork by the end of Wednesday.

It is widely believed that Howard wants to end up with the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets. Orlando fears that Howard will simply walk away from the team via free agency this summer if they don’t trade him now. The NBA.com report said the Magic are "not convinced Howard genuinely wants to stay.

So, stay tuned Nets fans. The Howard saga seems far from a conclusion.

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Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Nets Reportedly Want Deal Now

Pay a king's ransom to get Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic before Thursday's 3 p.m. ET NBA Trade Deadline? Wait until this summer when Howard, the superstar center, can be a free agent and hope to win what is sure to be a very expensive bidding war?

That is the choice facing the New Jersey Nets this week. ESPN's Chris Broussard reports tha the Nets want to make the trade now rather than gamble on winning the bidding war later. Broussard says the Nets would "rather trade for Howard this week and have the security of knowing he's a Net, even if it means losing some of their good young pieces and draft picks."


Stay With SB Nation New York's StoryStream for the latest Dwight Howard news

The Nets would likely have to include rookie guard MarShon Brooks and young center Brook Lopez, as well as draft picks, to make a deal happen. Broussard also indicated the Nets are trying to entice a third team into the deal to sweeten the offer to Orlando.

The Nets, who are moving to Brooklyn next season, have pretty much thrown all their eggs into the Howard basket. If they don't land Howard they probably lose point guard Deron Williams to free agency as well, leaving them without a competitive team as they start over in Brooklyn.


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Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Magic Want Commitment From Howard

Dwight Howard might not get his wish to remain a member of the Orlando Magic … for now. It seems that Howard’s expressed desire to do that might end up being the final straw that pushes the Magic to send Howard packing before Thursday’s NBA Trade Deadline.

ESPN’s Chris Broussard reports that Howard’s statement “has only served to anger the Magic and has instead pushed them closer than ever to trading their superstar center.”

Maybe the Magic are coming to see what most everyone else has seen for a long time. Howard apparently has no intention of staying with the Magic beyond this season. What he really seems to want is to have his cake and eat it, too. The Magic are good and can make a deep playoff run if things fall their way. Howard’s preferred team, the New Jersey Nets, stink right now and would have to gut their roster to make a trade.

Broussard reports that the “Magic are telling teams they will trade Howard before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline if he does not commit to them beyond this season.”

Why wouldn’t Howard want to stay with the Magic this season, then make his jump to New Jersey as a free agent. This is his perfect scenario — only it is also one that leaves the Magic high-and-dry. The smart move is for the Magic to make a move before Howard bolts on his own.

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Dwight Howard Trade Rumors, Wednesday: Howard Wants To Stay In Orlando ... For Now

The latest twist in the Dwight Howard drama has the Orlando Magic superstar saying he wants to stay with the team ... for now. With the NBA Trade Deadline Thursday at 3 p.m. ET we will find out soon if the Magic feel like rolling the Howard dice and seeing if they can convince him to stay long-term.

"I want to stay and finish the season," Howard said. "I told them I feel we have a great opportunity to win and I told them that I want to be here and I want to bring a championship here. I told them they've got to give me that chance."

That could be one reason why the Magic, third in the Eastern Conference with a 28-15 record, have been trying desperately to add a difference-making player for the stretch run.


Howard Nets' T-Shirt Briefly Available Online | Dwight Howard Trade Rumors FAQ

Does Howard's statement mean he will definitely stay in Orlando the rest of the season? No. The Magic still have to decide whether they want to risk losing Howard as a free agent this summer and getting nothing in return, or want to go ahead and make a trade and at least get something.

What does all of this mean for the New Jersey Nets? If Howard's long-term desire is to be with the Nets when they move to Brooklyn next season -- as many people believe -- this might be a blessing.

If the Nets can sign Howard as a free agent rather than have to gut their roster of top players like Marshon Brooks and Brook Lopez to acquire him they will be in a much better competitive situation for the 2012-2013 NBA season.

-- See NetsDaily for more about the Nets

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Dwight Howard Rumors Tuesday: Magic In 'Hail Mary' Mode

The Orlando Magic are obviously desperate to keep superstar center Dwight Howard. How desperate? According to ESPN, desperate enough to pretty much allow Howard to decide the fates of coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith if Howard is willing to stay in Orlando long-term.

The Magic are reportedly trying to add at least one quality player to their roster in an effort to convince Howard to stay. Per ESPN, the Magic's general plan is to work until 24 hours prior to Thursday's 3 p.m. ET deadline to find players to add to their roster. If they can't accomplish that the final 24 hours before the deadline would be spent evaluating trade options.

The future direction of the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets hangs in the balance as the Magic try desperately to find a way to convince Howard not to leave.

The Nets, of course, want to add the Magic star and have both Howard and Deron Williams to build -- and market -- around when they move to Brooklyn next season.


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Dwight Howard Rumors Monday [Updated]: Nets' Chances Fading?

The Dwight Howard rumor mill continues to churn at full speed as we head toward the March 15 NBA Trade Deadline. As far as the New Jersey Nets and their fans are concerned, it continues to churn out bad news.

SI.com's Sam Amick wrote today that "Those in communication with the Magic's situation continue to predict that Howard won't be traded" and that "New Jersey's assets haven't been enough to get a deal done for months, meaning a trade involving more than the two teams is likely needed."

SI's Chris Mannix tweeted more bad news for the Nets -- and maybe the entire NBA outside Los Angeles. Mannix tweeted "If Howard goes to free agency, throw out the three-team (Dallas, NJ, LAL) list. It's open season for bidding. LeBron, part II. ... Howard will have interest in: Clippers and Miami. There are cap issues, but the interest is real."

The Nets, of course, have pinned their hopes on adding Howard to a team featuring star point guard Deron Williams when the team moves to Brooklyn next season. If the team is unable to reel in Howard somehow, it faces the real possibility of also losing Williams via free agency.

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Dwight Howard Rumors Monday: Magic Would Trade Howard ... To Chicago

The New Jersey Nets and their fans don't want to hear this one. The Orlando Magic WOULD reportedly trade superstar center Dwight Howard right now, just not to the Nets. Ken Berger of CBS Sports reports that the Magic would trade Howard to the Chicago Bulls -- the only holdup being that Howard still says he does not want to go there.

According to Berger, the Bulls offer for Howard could look like this:

7-footer Omer Asik, Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer for Howard and Hedo Turkoglu, sources said. The Bulls also could offer a valuable first-round pick from Charlotte -- top-14 protected in this year's draft but but unprotected by 2016.

Berger also reported that "the Magic seem intent on rolling the dice" and keeping Howard because theya re "unimpressed with the assets Howard's three preferred teams could provide in a trade." Those three teams are the Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks.

The NBA trade deadline is March 15, so stay tuned. See SBNation.com for complete trade deadline coverage.

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Dwight Howard Rumors Sunday: Magic Remain Undecided

The New Jersey Nets appear to remain the front-runners to acquire Orlando Magic superstar center Dwight Howard via trade. If, that is, the Magic decide to trade Howard. Right now, just four days before the March 15 NBA Trade Deadline, the Magic still can’t make a decision.

“We’re not at the point where we’re ready to answer that question yet,” Martins told the Orlando Sentinel before the Magic hosted the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. “Sometime in the next four days we will be, but we’re not at the point where we’re ready to answer that question yet.”

The Nets want Howard to pair with All-Star guard Deron Williams as they move to Brooklyn next season. The Boston Herald argued that acquiring Howard via free agency this summer might actually be the better path for the Nets.

If Howard is determined to play for the Nets in future years, it’s in his best basketball (not financial) interest for the Nets to retain as many of their assets and then simply sign him to a free-agent deal this summer. The Nets would be better off if they could pair Lopez, Brooks and their draft picks with Howard and Williams.

The problem with that, of course, is that on the open market Howard would have a wide range of suitors and there is no guarantee the Nets would be the winning bidder.

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Dwight Howard: I've Given Orlando Everything I've Got

The NBA trade deadline is quickly approaching and there is still no sense that the Dwight Howard sweepstakes is anywhere near an end. If the team plans on trading their superstar, it appears they have no issue taking it down to the very last minute.

Despite Howard's standing trade demand, the Magic have yet to make up their mind on exactly what they are going to do. While they stress on and off the record keeping their superstar in Orlando is their top priority, they are engaging in serious trade talks with 6-8 teams, including many who would simply be renting Howard.


SI.com: Magic Brass At Odds Over Howard

The Magic have let teams know if they moved Howard, they expect to receive a replica of the deal Denver got for Carmelo Anthony from the Knicks last year, according to Ken Berger. That package was a combination of young, inexpensive players and multiple draft picks. The Nuggets have shown over the last year it's the best way to lose a star but still be a playoff contender.

When he was asked (again) on Thursday if he wanted to stay with the Magic, he continued to dance around the issue but did talk about how he has left it all on the court.

"My thing is, like they know, I want to win, and I want to put my team in the best position," Howard said. "I've given Orlando eight hard years. Everything I've got, I've left on the floor, and they all understand that and that's where I keep it. I'm not focused on what's going to happen tomorrow or the next day."

As the deadline draws near, it will be fascinating to see how the Magic play their hand. All signs point to Howard willing to leave money on the table to get to Brooklyn or Dallas in order to play with New Jersey Nets All-Star Deron Williams. Will Orlando, as they've suggested, really try to call his bluff? Or do they get what they can and move on?

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Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Does Howard Have Eyes For Brooklyn?

The future of the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets franchise may hing one what happens — or does not happen — in the next seven. The NBA Trade Deadline is March 15, and the question that hangs over the Nets — and really the entire NBA — is ‘will the Orlando Magic trade Dwight Howard to the Nets?’

Most analysts seem to believe that if the Magic — reluctantly — deal the start center before the deadline rather than risk losing him and getting nothing in return this summer that New Jersey remains the only realistic trade partner.


SB Nation NBA Trade Rumors StoryStream | Could Nets Deal For Atlanta's Josh Smith?

Ken Berger of CBS Sports points out that Howard could want Brooklyn more than any other destination not only to play with start guard Deron Williams, but because of off-thecourt opprtunities that would come with being in New York. Berger wrote:

If Howard wants more global exposure and the opportunity to eclipse whatever money he’d be leaving on the table by leaving Orlando, those opportunities will be there for him if he chooses the Nets and joins Deron Williams in Brooklyn next season.

During a roundtable, several NBA experts agreed that, despite the logic of trading Howard and making sure they get something for him, that the Magic appear hell-bent on keeping him and convincing him to stay in Orlando.

If they can’t get Howard the Nets run the risk of losing Williams to free agency this summer.

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Dwight Howard Rumors: Does Lopez Injury Impact Potential Deal?

As soon as New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez went down Sunday with a sprained ankle that will sideline him for three weeks, the question became obvious. With Lopez being the prime bait, how does that impact the Nets ability to make a trade for Orlando Magic superstar center Dwight Howard before the March 15 NBA Trade Deadline? According to at least one report, Lopez' injury should not impact a potential deal.

Pro Basketball Talk writes that "a standard sprain is not going to scare a team off" and still considers the Nets the front runner. If, that is, the Magic actually decide to deal Howard before the deadline and not roll the dice on trying to keep him -- and potentially losing him without getting anything in return.

The Magic say that six to eight teams are still in contact with them about Howard.

The Nets, of course, are hoping to add Howard to a lineup that includes star point guard Deron Williams.

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Dwight Howard Rumors: Knicks Reportedly Not Giving Up The Chase

The New York Post reported this morning that the New York Knicks are laying in the weeds hoping Orlando Magic star center Dwight Howard will add them to the list of teams for which he would like to play.

The Post's basketball expert, Peter Vescey, wrote today that Howard's list still includes only the New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers. Vescey, however, wrote that the Knicks are apparently willing to give up pretty much whatever they have to in order to bring Howard to Madison Square Garden.

"I'm positive the Knicks have called just in case Dwight changes up," an Eastern Conference GM said. "I'm sure they've offered a combination of everybody, excluding Jeremy Lin, of course."

What happens with Howard long-term is still anyone's guess. It seems increasingly unlikely he will be traded during the season, with the Magic still hoping to find a way to keep him. The Nets are banking their hopes on building around Howard and Deron Williams when they move to Brooklyn.

Stay tuned.

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Wojnarowski: Nets Or Mavericks For Dwight Howard

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, one of the most well-connected and knowledgeable NBA writers in the business, said Thursday he believes Orlando Magic superstar center Dwight Howard will wind up with either the Brooklyn Nets or Dallas Mavericks next season.

"There's really two scenarios for him in free agency," Wojnarowski told WEEI Radio. "One is going to Brooklyn with Deron Williams and the other is going to be Dallas."

Wojnarowski offered a scenario that would be a nightmare for Nets fans. He stated that the Mavericks would like to unload the contract of forward Shawn Marion, then use the cap space to pursue BOTH Howard and Williams as free agents during the offseason.

"If they can get rid of Shawn Marion Dallas is in the game for both those guys," Wojnarowski said.

The Nets, of course, have been hoping to add another marquee player to add to Williams as they move to Brooklyn next season. The most likely target at this point has been Howard. Losing out on Howard, then watching Williams follow him to the Mavericks, would be devastating for the franchise as it tries to get a fresh start in Brooklyn.

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Dwight Howard: As Of Right Now, I'm A Part Of The Orlando Magic

All Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard wanted to do was hold a free BBQ to prove he has no intention of leaving town.  Instead, he continued to say things that leave the door open for an exit to Los Angeles, New York or another big market situation.

At the BBQ that was only promoted via Twitter, Howard spoke with the Orlando Sentinel about wanting to continue building something great with the Magic.

"I want to have my own path, and I want to start that here in Orlando," the superstar said, starting out his comments strongly.  However, he quickly went back to the qualifications for staying.  

"I can't do it alone.  Not only do I need the right teammates, but I need the city behind me.  That's the only way it's going to get done.  We can change this small city that we have — this small market that we have — and we can make it a big market."

That sure sounds like Howard is still laying the ground work to take his talents away from Florida.

"As of right now, I'm a part of the Orlando Magic and I plan to be here," Howard said.

"And I want the Magic to do whatever they can to make sure that we can get our city behind us.  That's the only thing that I want to happen: just to have the city behind me and the support of our fans.  I never said I was leaving.  I never, ever thought about leaving.  That's basically where my head is right now.  I never said anything to them [the Magic] about what my plans were because that's not what I'm focused on right now."

So Howard never said he was leaving, but only because he hasn't discussed his future with management?

Sure sounds a lot like 'Melodrama Part II.

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Chris Paul Would 'Relish' Being A Knick: Earl Monroe

Dwight Howard? Chris Paul? Deron Williams? Which guy should the New York Knicks chase if all three star players are free agents after the 2011-2012 NBA season.

Well, the answer might be whichever guy shows real in being a Knickerbocker. According to Hall of Famer and legendary Knick Earl Monroe, that might be Paul -- current star guard for the New Orleans Hornets.

"I'm quite sure he would relish being in the Big Apple," said Monroe, who coached the New York City team vs. L.A. in yesterday's inaugural People's Games at Union Square. "He can handle this pressure. Obviously he's one of the premier point guards in the league. To add that with what you already have, you got the real nucleus to having something special happen closer than in four years."

What does Monroe know that the rest of us don't? Well, according to the New York Post Monroe has been a long-time friend of the Paul family.

I still believe the best catch for the Knicks would be Howard, an unmatched post player in today's game who would give them an inside presence they sorely lack. If CP3 really wants to be a Knick, though, it would be hard for the blue and orange to turn him away.

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New York Knicks: The Big Man or the Little Man?

One of the interesting debates that will be surrounding the Knicks as they approach the 2012 season (yes, we are already skipping over 2011) is who they should focus their free agent money on: Dwight Howard or Chris Paul?

Is the top option, the dominating defensive center or the point guard with an ability to completely control a game?

If Howard joined the Knicks front line along with Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, it would immediately provide them with the best front court in the NBA. Yet, they could still be working with a guard tandem of Toney Douglas and Landry Fields. If Paul joined the Knicks big two, as they all joked about at Carmelo's wedding, the Knicks would have a point guard to slice up Miami and go toe to toe with Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose. However, they would still lack interior size, toughness and rebounding. As we saw last month, you aren't winning anything with Jared Jeffries or Ronny Turiaf at center.

There are obviously other factors at play here, including Chris Paul's long term health and both of them being pursued by other big market teams like Los Angeles or Chicago. Yet, the Knicks should be able to create the cap space and now have the star power to make a better run at Paul or Howard than they did at LeBron James.

As for the Nets, don't worry I am sure we will hear all about what a serious player they are in these sweepstakes until they eventually decide to spend the money on a long term extension for Travis Outlaw or Sasha Vujacic.

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