During the next four days, all the pressure will be on Orlando general manager Otis Smith to just make the right decision.
In his hands is the responsibility of making one of the biggest decisions in franchise history, and who knows how this will all play out in the long run, but these next four days could ultimately determine where the Magic franchise heads for the rest of the decade.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Smith is still non-committal on what to do as he says the odds of Orlando trading Howard are still 50-50.
Smith is truly in a no-win situation here that could ultimately cost him his job.
The rest of the NBA is waiting on Smith to make a decision. No other trades are likely to happen as long as Howard is still on the market.
Either choice placed in front of Smith could wind up disastrous.
Trade him and there's no way to get anything close to equal value for him.
Take the New Jersey Nets offer of Brook Lopez, MarShon Brooks and a pair of No. 1 picks, which is likely the best on the table considering Howard's demands.
There are questions about both players and the picks, says the Sentinel's Josh Robbins. Given the Nets would likely be better with Howard and the Rockets are making a playoff push, both picks would likely be mid-first-round picks.
Ideally, to deal Howard, Orlando would need a pair of potentially dominant players and a couple of high picks.
It won't get that from anyone.
Hold onto Howard and watch him walk away and Smith watches his franchise player leave for nothing.
Given Orlando's cap situation at the moment, it could be some time before it can rebuild, if it can rebuild.
Given that the Magic are the only team that could offer Howard a five-year deal worth a maximum of $109.2 million, it's more likely that Smith elects to hold onto Howard and roll the dice in the summer.
If Howard leaves, at least Smith can tell the fan base he tried everything to keep him.
While that's nice, it's not going to do much for the Magic being competitive in the future without Howard.
Who really knows what decision is the right one?
But Smith has four more days to simply make a decision that could ultimately make or break the Magic franchise in the near future.
No pressure at all.
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