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The constant conjecture regarding his potential destination seems to even be bugging Howard himself.
So here it is, the piece de resistance of all the NBA trade rumors. Howard and his potential whereabouts either this season or next have been speculated upon pretty much every day multiple times, since what feels like the beginning of time. He wants to leave Orlando, he might want to stay there. He wants to play in LA, he doesn't. He wants to go to Brooklyn with Deron Williams, neither of them want to be there. He has a list of teams he wants to go too. And so on.
It's exhausting at this point. But what is very clear is that with the deadline looming, we may finally be able to get some closure on this exhaustive topic. As recently as yesterday, a story ran in USA Today quoting Magic owner Rich DeVos wanting Howard to stay in the Magic Kingdom.
Orlando certainly can pay him more than any other team on his next contract (a move GM Otis Smith may just be crazy enough to attempt). But it says here that Howard has to move, the Magic need to get what they can for him and get on with their life as a franchise. It took a while for them to survive the exodus of Shaquille O'Neal to LA all those years ago, but they did. And Howard is not the player now that Shaq was then (although in Howard's defense, he's still learning, growing and improving).
The best fit for him seems to be Dallas or Chicago, but neither of those destinations will work via trade. They will have to wait for the offseason and free agency. So if it's going to be a trade deadline move, look for the the Lakers and Nets, always the front-runners, to win the sweepstakes. And then we can all get on with our lives.