NBA Rumors: Why Starting Season with Dwight Howard Would Be Awful for Orlando
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel quotes general manager Rob Hennigan saying, “As I've said all along, we're going to just continue to stay true to our process and let the process sort of dictate the opportunities and the scenarios that present themselves."
Hennigan seems to be content on holding out for a slightly better deal for the 26-year-old center, instead of ensuring that Howard is no longer in Orlando when the year begins.
Howard has made it abundantly clear that he does not want to play with the Magic, and there is no future for him with the team. Hennigan’s choices are either to trade him or let him walk in free agency after this year.
If he holds on to him to start the season, then the soap opera that has surrounded the situation will continue, placing an unfair burden on the Orlando players and first-time head coach Jacque Vaughn.
Vaughn would be the biggest loser if Howard is not shipped out before the season. He will be forced to coach a superstar who knows that he will be leaving at the end of the season, regardless of any other circumstances.
This will make coaching the team significantly more difficult, as any time Vaughn is unable to motivate Howard, his authority will be undermined.
What should the Magic do with Dwight Howard?
If Hennigan really wants to give his new coach a fair chance, he will orchestrate a deal to receive draft picks, prospects and cap space. This will allow Vaughn to work with a roster he can mold instead of having to spend his first few months catering to a dissatisfied superstar.
The Houston Rockets were rumored to be involved (per Marc Stein and Chad Ford of ESPN.com) in one offer that would have given the Magic everything they were asking for, as were the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers.
These reports have since gone quiet, but there are clearly teams ready to pull the trigger if the Magic are ready to make a trade.
Howard has put Orlando in an awful situation, and there is no easy way out for Hennigan. Still, the team has players and coaches that will be with the team for longer than a season, and Howard can do much more to hurt them than he can to help.
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