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It's looking more and more like Dwight Howard will choose to leave the Orlando Magic next summer as a free agent. He refused to sign an extension a few weeks ago, and he's counting on a management that has made some questionable moves to build a championship team.
With the way their roster is currently constructed, it will be hard to make them a whole lot better than they were last year. There are some nasty contracts, as well as little to no quality trade pieces.
Unless Orlando gets extremely lucky in some kind of a deal, they are not realistically going to compete for a title next season.
It is a lot more safe to trade Howard for some value when they get the chance than to risk him walking in a year. Shipping him out removes the pressure of potentially loosing him for nothing.
They'll be in a tighter situation if he signs elsewhere than they are now. So they might as well build for the future and get what they can get for him while it is still an option.