Dwight Howard hasn't rescinded his trade request from the Orlando Magic, as Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reported Sunday, but neither he nor Orlando has let the drama surrounding his situation become a distraction. "The NBA's preeminent big man [is] determined to share peace and pleasantries with his Magic teammates and coaches," Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated writes, "despite the fact that his uncomfortable trade demand that was issued in early December still stands."
The vibe is professional all around. "I'm going to go be Dwight every night," Howard said. "Have fun on the court, entertain the fans, block shots, run the floor, rebound, do whatever I've got to do to win." Stan Van Gundy, the Magic's head coach, said the situation was "awkward and difficult" during training camp, but "since the season has started, it's been very, very normal."
In December, Howard asked Otis Smith, the Magic's President of Basketball Operations, to trade him to either the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, or New Jersey Nets. The Magic granted Dan Fegan, Howard's agent, permission to discuss trades regarding Howard with those teams.
Orlando is in no hurry to trade Howard and, as Amick notes, Howard's top destinations may not have enough to offer Orlando to make trading him worthwhile from the Magic's perspective. Dallas has can offer neither salary relief nor young prospects, while the Lakers have refused to include both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol in a deal for Howard. Further, Amick reports, Smith "is not a fan" of Nets center Brook Lopez, the 23-year-old prospect who would anchor any offer New Jersey made Orlando.
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