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NBA Rumors: Breaking Down the Latest Speculation on Dwight Howard's Future

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 30:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic drives aganst Ian Mahinmi #28 of the Dallas Mavericks during the game at Amway Center on March 30, 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)
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Shehan JeyarajahCorrespondent IApril 13, 2012

The Dwight Howard saga reached its critical point last week when Coach Stan Van Gundy called out his star center for asking management to fire him earlier in the season, an unprecedented move for a coach. It is unclear what Stan's intentions were, but he has split up the Orlando locker room. 

After Van Gundy made his comments, many players have come out in support of their coach. Hedo Turkoglu was quoted as saying, "I want Stan to be my coach forever." 

Ryan Anderson also said, "I love Stan. I think he's a great coach for us."

Perhaps the most indicting quote of Dwight Howard is from an anonymous Magic player who commented, "Our problem isn't Stan. We've got one guy who wants to run the show." 

Most recently, Howard sat down for an interview with ESPN's Hannah Storm and once again was asked about whether he asked for Van Gundy to be fired. He once again vehemently denied it and claimed he didn't know who would have told Van Gundy. 

All the Dwight drama isn’t tense or exciting to me; it’s just sad. Dwight Howard has never been a polarizing figure in the NBA; he truly is one of the nice, funny guys in the NBA. There is no doubt in my mind that Dwight is a guy who really wants to be liked and who really deserves to be liked.

However, seeing these comments, there is no doubt that Howard will be gone next year. It’s not the fact that Howard has had conflict with his coach; it's the fact that the players on the team backed up the coach and not their star. 

Dwight Howard WILL be traded next season, and the Magic will keep Stan Van Gundy. I only hope that Howard goes to a situation that fits him better because he is a sincere guy and really deserves to be liked. We will see how this situation resolves itself in the coming weeks. 

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