The New Jersey Nets are reportedly out of the running to acquire Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, at least for now. So is every other NBA team.
The Magic have decided to take Howard off the market and stop fielding trade offers for the superstar center, reports Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Nets had reportedly been discussing a four-team trade to land Howard, with the idea that a Howard-Deron Williams pairing would be enough to entice both players to re-sign in New Jersey after the season. Nets general manager Billy King had ratcheted up his intensity to deal for Howard after Nene, New Jersey's other primary target, signed a contract to remain with the Denver Nuggets.
Howard has waffled in the recent weeks on whether he would like to remain in Orlando past this season. The Magic would certainly like him to stay, and their decision to take Howard off the trading block is the latest indication that the organization will do anything in its power to try to convince him that continuing his career in Orlando is in Howard's best interests.
The Magic could decide to put Howard back on the block at any time, and would almost certainly trade him prior to the March trade deadline if he does not open the door to staying in Orlando even further -- as the Cleveland Cavaliers found out the hard way, allowing a superstar to leave without any real compensation can cripple a franchise.