NBA Rumors: Magic Taking Huge Risk by Possibly Holding onto Dwight Howard

Sam R. QuinnSenior Analyst IIIJuly 27, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 13:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic reacts to a missed free-throw during the game against the Miami Heat at Amway Center on March 13, 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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The "Dwightmare" is going to get even worse for the Orlando Magic if they decide to hold on to Dwight Howard for the rest of the offseason.

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.

After trying to convince Howard to withdraw his trade demand once before, Hennigan met with the face of his franchise in Los Angeles to try one more time (per Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy via Twitter):

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.

Talks with the Brooklyn Nets are long gone. Negotiations with the Houston Rockets seemed like a pipe dream from the very beginning. Things have stalled with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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.

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.