Despite a frenzy of reports last week that made it seem as though Dwight Howard was getting dealt in a matter of days, the Orlando Magic will reportedly hold off on trading their disgruntled big man until early August.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets, Howard’s most notable potential suitors, have been in limbo ever since the beginning of this offseason waiting for Orlando to figure out exactly what it wants to do. At this point, given this latest development, it’s hard to imagine that either squad has much patience left.
A few weeks ago the Brooklyn Nets, who were an early favorite to land Howard and the team he wanted to end up with, finally got tired of the Magic’s games and decide to proceed with their summer plans (re-signing Deron Williams, trading for Joe Johnson and giving Brook Lopez a huge deal). The move seemed to signal that they were out of the Dwight Howard Sweepstakes, much as L.A. and Houston might be given this most recent report.
Then again, if Orlando is truly willing to wait until early August to move their guy after all this back-and-forth, then maybe they’ll be willing to wait until next January. And if they don’t pull the trigger on a move before January, the Nets can re-enter the conversation because that’s when Lopez will once again become a tradable piece.
News of the Magic’s desire to prolong this mess came this weekend via Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated:
“Before I duck out again, a Dwight Howard note: the Magic, I'm told, are hopeful that they can pull the trigger on a deal by early August (although I certainly couldn't tell you which one it might be). That being said, new GM Rob Hennigan - who I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time in Vegas - is proving to be very prudent in this process, meaning those hopes won't be realized if the deal simply isn't up to his standard's.”
And while everyone continues to twist in the wind and wait for Orlando to maybe, possibly reengage in legitimate trade talks for Howard this month, a new team has apparently entered the fray. According to John Rhode of the Oklahoman by way of Pro Basketball Talk, the Oklahoma City Thunder might be interested in adding Howard to their roster:
“OKC could throw its name into the Howard hopper and offer Kendrick Perkins, James Harden and Eric Maynor in a Howard sign-and-trade with Orlando, but doing so would abandon the Presti Plan and give the perception he had gone about things all wrong.
“Then again, it potentially could result in an NBA title or two with a starting lineup of Howard, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha and Serge Ibaka, not to mention a season record for blocked shots and a high-dollar existence above the league’s luxury tax.”
That won’t happen because it’s a terrible trade for the Magic. Still, the prospect of OKC ending up with Howard, no matter how unrealistic the proposal, is terrifying.
Will Orlando actually trade Howard in August? Will they trade him at all this summer? Nobody knows anymore – including Orlando management.