It appears as though the Dwight Howard saga has come to a close—at least until the next whopping offer comes Orlando's way. The Orlando Magic need to act wisely because holding onto Howard would be a huge mistake for the entire organization.
That inspired renewed talks, in which the Nets offered four future first-round picks, Lopez and power forward Kris Humphries in sign-and-trade deals and $3 million to acquire Howard, Jason Richardson, Chris Duhon and Earl Clark, the source said.
That would've been a steep price for the Nets to pay. The plethora of first round draft picks certainly would have helped Orlando in the rebuilding process. But the talks broke off.
The Magic need to collectively recognize that the best thing for the organization is to part ways with Howard. If they don't trade him, he will sign with a new team following this season. It would leave the Magic depleted—as they were when Shaquille O'Neal spurned them for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Holding onto Howard is the wrong decision for multiple reasons. Keeping him in Orlando for another year will give the fans a false sense of security. They could think that the Magic actually have a chance of keeping him, which clearly isn't the case.
Howard has recently been criticized by Charles Barkley for his handling of his impending free agency, but that doesn't change the facts. He is still loved by Magic fans.
The Magic management shouldn't forget how Howard made a complete circus act of the team last season. Ian O'Connor of ESPN.com reported that Howard actually wanted his coach fired. Howard denied these reports, but Van Gundy was ultimately fired.
This offseason, Howard has actually implied that the only team he would sign an extension with would be the Brooklyn Nets. This has further complicated things for Orlando, and enough is enough.
Matt Brooks of The Washington Post recently reported on the Howard saga. His story currently leads us to believe that the only two teams left in the D12 sweepstakes are the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.
The Magic would be extremely wise to consider these offers. If they could acquire Andrew Bynum, that would be a very nice consolation prize. He is probably the more polished offensive player, anyway.
The longer the Magic wait, the more agonizing this ordeal becomes. They would be better off getting rid of the dead weight and starting from scratch. First round draft picks are the first step to rebuilding this franchise, which has seen a lot of turnover very quickly.