The NBA rumor mill has been chocked to overflowing in recent days with speculation on Dwight Howard’s desires and future. Will the superstar center remain in Orlando? Is he planning to leave via free agency to the Nets? Will the Magic be forced to trade him, and if so, where will he end up?
With the NBA trade deadline today, it appears as though the situation is finally clearing up. Howard has stated that he plans to officially opt-in to the 2012-2013 option on his contract, allowing the Magic to keep him in Orlando through the end of this season and — at the very least — up until the trade deadline next season. This contradicts earlier reports that made it sound as though Howard wanted out of Orlando; he is signing up for one more season, giving him and the Magic more time to work out a solution for the future.
Although Howard hasn’t signed the waiver yet that would kick in his option, he states he will do it Thursday morning. He also appears genuinely contrite for the stir and drama he has caused:
“My soul, everything I have is in Orlando. I just can’t leave it behind.”
“I have gotten some bad advice,” said Howard. “I apologize for this circus I have caused to the fans of our city. They didn’t deserve none of this.”
If Howard carries through with his action, Magic fans will be able to breath a sign of relief. This is no long-term solution to this problem, but it’s at least a temporary solution and keeps Howard in Orlando for now.
For more on the Orlando Magic and potential trades at the NBA deadline, visit SB Nation’s Magic blog Orlando Pinstriped Post.
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