Dwight Howard Changes Mind (again), Now Planning to Stay in Orlando

Holly MacKenzieNBA Lead BloggerMarch 15, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 13:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic reacts to a missed free-throw during the game against the Miami Heat at Amway Center on March 13, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

After another day of flip-flopping, it appears Dwight Howard has made a decision regarding his future.

Yes, another one.

What was first reported by Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com has been confirmed to Bleacher Report by another source with knowledge of the situation. 

Dwight Howard is saying that he is staying in Orlando. 

Late Wednesday night, Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com reported that Howard will waive his early termination option and stay in Orlando for another season. Rudolph reported quotes from Howard that expressed strain and regret for the on-going drama surrounding his status as the deadline nears, while also showing his desire to remain in Orlando:

"Man, listen, you know my heart, my soul and everything I have is in Orlando," Howard told RealGM. "I just can't leave it behind."

"I have gotten some bad advice," Howard said. "I apologize for this circus I have caused to the fans of our city. They didn't deserve none of this. I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart. I will do whatever I can to make this right and do what I was put in Orlando to do." 

While Howard told reporters that he would like to stay in Orlando on Tuesday night, by Wednesday afternoon, it had been reported by multiple outlets that Howard would not only stay in Orlando to finish out the season, but would sign a waiver to eliminate his early-termination option and remain in a Magic uniform for another season. 

Later that evening, Ken Berger reported that Howard would not be waiving his ETO. RealGM.com reported Howard's change of heart late Wednesday night. 

More details from RealGM.com:

The situation has also been stressful for Howard and his family, but he isn't thinking of making any excuses or point any fingers. Howard only wants to get back to being the man Orlando grew to love and cheer for. 

 "This has been a very hard time," Howard said. "For me, my family and all of us. The fans deserve a better hero and I will make that happen. I love and appreciate my fans and this city."

Howard said that he plans on signing the ETO waiver first thing on Thursday morning. He also plans on making some internal changes to ensure this situation isn't repeated in the future.

While nothing will be for certain until that waiver is signed, on late Wednesday night, Howard indicated that he will be staying in Orlando.

Still, ESPN published a conflicting report overnight. 

"In a Wednesday night conference call with team officials before Orlando's game in San Antonio, after indications to the contrary earlier in the day, Howard firmly told the Magic he is not prepared to surrender the option in his contract that allows him to become a free agent at season's end," according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

Let's see how this all plays out heading into the trade deadline.