Despite all the hemming and hawing around the trade deadline for Dwight Howard, he was not dealt and seems to be content with playing the final year of his contract in Florida.
Orlando GM Rob Hennigan said Wednesday he refused to trade Howard to the Nets for an inferior package.
But about a week before the NBA draft, reports surfaced that he had reiterated his demand to be traded and wanted the deal done by the draft.
Howard was alternately pushing for a trade and happy in Orlando leading up to the trade deadline, depending on which day of the week he was asked by the media. He constantly changed his mind, and the reports that swirled around him at the deadline were intense.
Eventually he signed an amendment to his contract that prevented him from opting out this year, and committing him to the Magic through 2013. It looks now as though that commitment was short-lived.
Things got ugly after the trade deadline passed. Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy told reporters that Howard was lobbying for him to be fired; moments before, Howard himself took the podium to address the media.
It was an underhanded move by the coach, and one that gave observers plenty of insight into the toxic atmosphere around the Magic.
Van Gundy was eventually let go at the end of the season, and Howard has maintained that he never asked for the coach to be fired. But before the Magic could get rid of Van Gundy, Howard checked out of the rest of the season.
On April 19, about a month after he signed the amendment, his agent announced that he would be having surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back that would cause him to miss the remainder of the season.
Since leaving for that surgery, he has not returned to the Magic, choosing to do his rehab in Southern California while his team was losing 4-1 to the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs.
It seems the relationship between Howard and the Magic has soured to the point that he is demanding a way out as soon as possible. Howard himself has been very steadfast with his demand that he be sent to the Brooklyn Nets.
He met with new Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan on Friday and reiterated that he wanted to be traded to the Nets, though reports are that Hennigan did not give in, and merely took the meeting to hear Howard's thoughts.
Howard is friends with Nets minority owner and hip-hop star Jay-Z, and he has expressed a desire to play with Deron Williams in Brooklyn.
The other likely destination for Howard has become Houston. The Rockets have been stockpiling picks and other pieces over the past few weeks in an effort to build a trade package that the Magic would have interest in.
Howard has no control over where he is traded; he does not have a no-movement clause. So the decision rests Hennigan's hands, not his.
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