NBA Rumors: How Dwight Howard Is Holding Orlando Magic Franchise Hostage

Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IApril 24, 2012

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)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Here we go again with the Dwight Howard saga.

Just when you thought it was over for a few weeks as Howard's been shelved with season-ending back surgery, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith (via IamaGM.com) reports that the minute the season is over for the Orlando Magic, Howard will once again demand a trade.

Smith said the following on SportsCenter:

“The minute this season is over, according to what I am hearing from his camp, you can expect Dwight Howard to tell Orlando. ‘Get me out of here. I don’t want to be here any longer.’ You’ve got Stan Van Gundy annoyed with the organization. You’ve got Dwight Howard disgusted with the organization. The way he’s been treated, along with the way his teammates have been AWOL on him as far as he’s concerned. You’ve got a problem.”

Everyone probably knew this day was going to come again sooner rather than later and Howard will eventually get his way as he's held the Magic franchise hostage now for over five months.

It's hard to know what to believe with Howard anymore, since his soap opera has dragged out far too long, but one thing you should expect is for Howard to deny the statement from Smith.

The same way he's denied everything from his initial trade request to the reports at the beginning of the month that he wanted coach Stan Van Gundy fired.

Howard doesn't have it in him to come out and say, "This is what I want," or, "Yeah, I said this." So expect another drawn out saga once the season ends. Yet, whether Smith's report is true or not doesn't change the fact that Howard is still holding the Orlando franchise hostage.

It started with the initial trade demand and Howard's small list of teams he would accept a trade to, knowing that general manager Otis Smith couldn't make a deal to get nothing in return.

Then there was the constant changing of his mind between wanting to be traded and not wanting to be traded.

What's the franchise to do when they have no idea what this guy really wants?

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 28:  Head coach Stan Van Gundy converses with Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on April 28, 2011 in Atlan
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In between all of that, we've seen Howard act like a child, show no leadership, attempt to get his coach fired and several acts in between.

Howard will say all of the right things about winning and loving the fans and his teammates, but he's truly never shown the ability to become a winner and he will turn his back on the fans and his current teammates at the snap of a finger.

Season 2 of the Dwight Howard soap opera is set to begin after we crown an NBA champion.

This time though, Smith and the rest of the Orlando front office should say enough is enough and make a deal and start over. They should throw his list of teams in the trash and search for the best deal they can make for the future of the franchise.

What Howard and his camp fails to realize is that the Magic organization has bent over backwards to make Howard happy and try and give him what he wants. They've done everything they can to try and keep him in Orlando.

It's time to cut the ties and ship Howard out.

Otherwise, he will continue to hold the franchise hostage for another season.