Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Magic Star's Ploy to Stay in Orlando

Matt PasterCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 22:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic reacts after being called for a technical foul against the Atlanta Hawks during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 22, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

I don’t know if it’s just me, but Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic look like they care this season.

Yes, they have played against a few cream puffs in the last few games, but they have beaten them all like great teams should.

The only loss that the Magic have is an opening game loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, on the road, on Christmas Day.

The Magic look like a team that will compete in the East this season.

Ryan Anderson is the beneficiary of Dwight Howard double teams, J.J. Redick has been a spark and Hedo Turkoglu has shot with confidence.

Dwight Howard looks absolutely engaged with his teammates and I don’t see him leaving at all. Every team on his preseason “wish list” is struggling miserably.

The writers for the Nets, Lakers and Mavericks have nothing positive to say about their teams to date, so they must rely on the “what if” Dwight Howard trade scenarios.

The Magic are currently 4-1. Those teams combined are 5-11. I have not seen any lack of production or enthusiasm from the Magic, or Dwight Howard.

Perhaps the motivation for Dwight, in giving the Magic the "trade me or else demand" was meant to encourage the current roster and the city of Orlando as a whole. The Amway center has never seemed more alive since the threat of losing Superman.

 What I see in the rumor mill is not what I see on the court.

Dwight does not look disgruntled. The Magic are jelling. The Orlando Magic have no quit.

Magic fans are rightfully optimistic and I have to begrudgingly say that Otis may be correct in standing pat with not trading Dwight.

The Magic may be best off riding Dwight for this season.

After all, this season may be magical.