Howard has been taking the Magic on a roller coaster as of late and yesterday was the most intense ride of them all.
Once all the back and forth came to an end last night, RealGM reported that Dwight Howard will sign his early termination option and stay in Orlando until the 2012-2013 season comes to a close.
Howard confirmed to RealGM on Wednesday evening that he will waive his early termination option and stay in Orlando for at least the 12-13 season.
Howard also realizes the impact that his indecision has caused and wants to make things right in the city that has watched him grow both professionally and personally since he came into the NBA in 2004 as the first overall pick.
"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."
Dealing with such a big decision was new territory for Howard.
To help with the process he sought advice from people he believed had his best interest in mind. All the while, his heart remained in Orlando. While he wanted to keep his options open, Howard's intentions were never to alienate his teammates, coaches or general manager.
Although Dwight has finally said he would sign his ETO, the constant flip-flopping definitely throws up some red flags.
The Magic have lost all sense of pride and Howard has lost much respect from the fans. At this point, it would be smart to just trade Dwight and try to build around a group of non-selfish players the way the Denver Nuggets did when they traded Carmelo Anthony.
Holding on to Dwight is the wrong move for the Magic because now is the best time to get more value from him. Although he claims that his "heart was always with Orlando", it will not be there much longer unless they get another piece to help Howard in his pursuit of a ring. Considering the Magic do not have much talent behind Howard, it will be very tough for them to trade for a big name that can help further advance Orlando. Dwight may have to be patient and try to attract a free agent signing, but most of the big names will be gone—except for Deron Williams.
The Magic cannot bank on signing Deron because he has been flip-flopping as well this year—although not as dramatic as Howard has been. Deron has said that he loves playing in Dallas and how it's his favorite arena to play in.
“I always like playing here,” Williams said when asked about his thoughts on playing in Dallas’ American Airlines Center, where the Nets will take on the Mavericks tonight. “It’s probably my favorite (arena) to play in. I just enjoy playing here — I enjoy playing in front of my friends, family. It’s always good they get the chance to come and see me play.”
Keeping in mind that Deron is from Dallas, it is going to be a tough sell for Orlando when the Mavericks and Mark Cuban are pushing to bring Williams back home.
The Magic need to trade Dwight now because the offers may get worse next year. The most enticing offer on the Magic's table has been with the Lakers. Orlando would be wise in trading Howard for Andrew Bynum because with the way Bynum has been playing as of late, the Lakers might not make that trade next year. Bynum has had his own issues on the court, but he has never demanded a trade or played worse amidst trade rumors like his teammate Pau Gasol.
Although Orlando would be foolish to keep Howard around until next season, they should not force some stupid trade with the Nets at the trade deadline. If the Magic can't make a reasonable trade for Dwight by the deadline, they should work to ship him off somewhere in the summer and avoid another lost season and gigantic headache next season.
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