During a meeting in Los Angeles with new Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan, Dwight Howard made himself very, very clear: the organization can either trade him now, or watch him leave for nothing come next year.
Over the past few weeks, the Magic had cooled on the idea of trading away Howard to the two or three teams that had been trying to make a deal for him. What was at one point priority No. 1 seemingly got put on the backburner when Orlando brass decided they couldn’t get the sort of offer they felt like their disgruntled big man warranted.
And so, in what was essentially a last-ditch effort to make things right with Howard, Hennigan traveled to L.A. on Wednesday hoping to convince his guy that there was a future for him in Orlando. According to Jarrod Rudolph, however, everything beginning with the way that the pitch was constructed and ending with what was actually being said didn’t jive with what Howard was hoping to hear.
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Hennigan’s pitch to Howard had a heavy focus on the two men developing a relationship that would be valuable to the Magic moving forward. He expressed a sincere interest in getting to know the six-time All-Star and working with him to improve the team. Howard, however, was expecting an outline of how the team planned to improve and get back to a championship-contending level, something he didn’t receive during the hour-long meeting, according to sources.
Howard was staunch in his stance and again made it clear to Hennigan that he has no desire to return to Orlando. He told the 30-year-old general manager that he would “never sign another contract with the Magic,” according to sources that spoke with RealGM.
It’s a bit unclear whether a good pitch could have swayed Howard or not, but that’s moot at this point.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, after hearing what Henningan had to say, Howard told the Magic’s new GM that Orlando had three options: trade him to Los Angeles this summer, trade him to Brooklyn in January or watch him leave for the Dallas Mavericks next summer.
Via Yahoo! Sports:
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Without a deal that would deliver him to the Lakers in the near future, sources said Howard wants Henningan to revisit trade talks with the Brooklyn Nets in January, when center Brook Lopez is eligible to be traded. If deals don't surface with the Lakers or Nets, Howard plans to sign with the Dallas Mavericks as a free agent in the summer of 2013.
Neither the Lakers nor the Nets would have the cap space necessary to sign Howard next summer; that’s why Dallas was added into the equation.
As of now, both Howard and the Magic know exactly where they stand: at the point of no return. There will be no mending of relationships. There will be no quick fixes. What’s done is done – one way or another Howard is a goner.
The real question now is: does Orlando prefer the Lakers’ deal or the Nets’ deal? L.A.’s deal would be harder to work out (because it involves a third team), but Brooklyn’s deal can’t happen until January (Brook Lopez can’t be traded until that point).