The organization is mulling over the prospect of retaining its star center into the season in order to wait for a deal that accurately reflects what Howard is worth, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard.
General manager Rob Hennigan has become that annoying friend who can't take a hint. No matter what you say to him, he just keeps coming back for more.
Meeting between Dwight Howard and Rob Hennigan is over. Howard wouldn't drop his trade demand, per source. Magic's last-ditch effort failed.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 26, 2012
Well, now that it has been confirmed (again) that Howard was not bluffing when he called for a trade, it is safe to say the Magic find themselves in a very precarious position.
It is hard to blame the Magic for wanting to get the most in exchange for one of the NBA's premier players, but Hennigan and his charges have been dawdling in their quest to find a suitable trading partner.
Orlando would be unwise to push on into the 2012-13 season with Howard on the roster.
He's just coming off back surgery to repair a herniated disk, so there is no telling how he will play. Even if he comes back and puts up 20 points and 10 rebounds a night, that would be a drop in production from his usual numbers. That would lead to the Magic not getting the highest possible value for him.
There comes a time, after a superstar jumps ship on a team, when that team has to turn around, face the facts and immediately cut ties. Unfortunately for Hennigan, this situation is past that point.
What should the Magic do with Howard?
The possibility of diminishing Howard's market value isn't the only problem with delaying this process. If the Magic wait until the season begins to ship Howard elsewhere, they are constantly narrowing their options.
Way back when, in the early days of July, the Nets and Magic had a proposed trade that would have sent Howard to Brooklyn for quality pieces and a draft pick (via Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski). That deal, which could have been the best that the Magic will ever get, fell through.
There won't be many teams lining up to acquire Howard for half a season at the deadline. The Magic are going to want significant compensation for the best player on their team, and many teams will refuse to part with valuable assets for a rental.
Hennigan and company keep digging themselves deeper and deeper as the days go by, and the remaining options are running out.