Dwight Howard Meets With Magic CEO, Softens Stance On Trade

ORLANDO, Fla. (WFAN/AP) — Bad news, Nets fans.

The relationship between Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic appears to be improving — at least a bit.

Magic chief executive officer Alex Martins said he sat down with the All-Star center Monday morning, a day after Howard said he hadn’t spoken to general manager Otis Smith since asking the team to be traded.

Martins said he remains confident things still can be done to convince Howard that Orlando can build a championship team.

“We have to continue to do what’s right for this organization to win a championship and the first piece of that is keeping Dwight,” Martins said at the team’s annual media day. “And we’re doing everything we can to ensure that we do that. All I would say from a fan’s standpoint is I believe, I want them to believe and I think we need to continue to show Dwight that we do want him here. … Our fans need to make sure that we show him the love.”

Then, after speaking at length for two straight days about all that was wrong with management, Howard said that the door remains open for him to re-sign.

“As of a right now, I have on a Magic uniform. … If it’s meant for me to stay here, then I’ll stay,” Howard said. “I love this city and there’s no place I’d rather be than Orlando. I just want to make sure that we have the right things here so we can win a championship. And I’m all about change. If you’re willing to change and willing do what it takes to win, then you’ve got me.

“You only get one time around the track. There’s no reset button. You don’t want to miss out on any opportunity to win,” Howard added. “You gotta do what it takes to win.”

Howard can opt out of his current contract in July 2012. Smith has previously given his agent, Dan Fegan, permission to speak with New Jersey, Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers about possible trades.

The Nets were previously reported to be atop Howard’s wish list.

Martins said that despite Howard’s claim Sunday that none of his input has been taken into account by management in regards to what changes he’d like to see the Magic make, that the trade for Boston big man Glen “Big Baby” Davis was one they did do.

“It’s a conversation,” Martins said. “It’s not a be all, end all. And I do think that Dwight’s input is important and we’re gonna continue to solicit Dwight’s input. But, the final decisions rest on Otis. Otis is the head of this basketball operation. And he is the only one that knows how all the pieces will fit together properly. And he can solicit input from anyone and he will solicit input.

“But at the end of the day, it’s Otis’ decision to make,” he said.

Will Howard stay in Orlando or force his way out — to the Nets perhaps? Sound off below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Nik

    Year after year the organization has spent good money on bad deals, and unfortunately, the organization has a track record of dismantling a group with championship potential. To top it off, the organization can never seem to get the head coach thing down to a science (i.e. talked themselves out of getting Phil Jackson). Management has been the achilles heel and the thorn in our backside.

  • Johnny Westcoast

    Shades of ’96 when Shaq said exactly the same things – wants to stay in Orlando, loves the city, wouldn’t want to be anywhere else – and the Magic responded by offering a huge offer for Shaq to stay, only to have Shaq take his offer to the Lakers who bested that offer by a pittance. Shaq then announced that he had always wanted to play for the Lakers, was tired of living in obscurity in Orlando, and couldn’t wait to get out. I wonder where Howard would really rather be?

  • JIG203

    Get rid of OTIS SMITH!!! VAN GUNDY TOO

  • Raymond Primrose

    Man just jump on a plane and come where Superman can really be a star. Lakers for you is the best move.

  • Rich Scott

    Howard is right! there needs to be changes in management. Magic fans have been saying the same thing for two years now. I can’t blame him for wanting to leave. The front office has been very good about getting talent but giving talent to magic management and coach staff. but it is like a teenager in a brand new corvette. The hit the accelerator and off they go and all is exciting and great… then they run off the road and loose the race. any one can buy a nice car but not every one has the talent or experience to drive. we need a coach who can drive us to a championship! like a doc rivers (a former magic and resides here) or a Phil Jackson.

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