NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – Not even a new general manager in Orlando could quell the Magic’s ongoing Dwight Howard drama.
The All-Star center still really, really likes the idea of playing with the Nets.
Brooklyn, Houston and Los Angeles have all “talked” with Orlando about a possible trade for Howard, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The 26-year-old has a clear favorite — but he’s not saying which team it is.
Well, Magic general manager Rob Hennigan just did it for him.
“There’s only one team on my list,” Howard told Yahoo! Sports, “and if I don’t get traded there, I’ll play the season out and explore my free agency after that.”
Wojnarowski cited sources who “believe” it’s the Nets.
Howard met with Hennigan on Friday and reissued a trade request to Brooklyn, the GM confirmed on Monday.
“This was not the first time,” Howard told Yahoo! Sports. “I communicated this to (Magic president) Alex (Martins) and (ex-GM) Otis (Smith) way before Friday that I wanted to be traded — months before this meeting with Rob Hennigan. That was all way before Stan (Van Gundy) got fired.”
Hennigan has not committed to honoring that demand. He said will keep communication lines open between both the All-Star and his agent.
“What I can tell you is he’s Dwight Howard,” he said. “He’s one of the best players in the NBA, so a lot of teams have interest in Dwight, as they should, and it’s our job to continue to analyze what’s in the best interests for us and how we go about making that decision.”
Hennigan said that having Howard single out one team as a desired destination does complicate any potential trade scenarios, but for now, there is no immediate move the Magic to make following the sit down.
“As I told Dwight, I said ‘I don’t know. I have to think about what you’re telling me.’ I want to take some time to process everything,” Hennigan said of the meeting. “And the answer is we want to map out what’s in the best interest of our team. And any decision that at decide going forward with will be one that we feel puts our team in a position to be successful and move forward.”
The Nets reportedly have re-signed Gerald Wallace to a four-year deal, and are also engaged in talks for Hawks forward Joe Johnson, according to multiple reports.
But the No. 1 target is still out there. It appears Deron Williams is leaning toward re-signing with Brooklyn over Dallas. He has been outspoken in his desire to play alongside Orlando’s big man, though Williams’ “patience with waiting for Howard to eventually come to Brooklyn is wearing out,” Wojnarowski reported.
Howard asked to be traded last season, and then opted-in for 2012-2013 — forgoing becoming a free agent this summer.
Think Howard is bound to be traded to Brooklyn? Be heard in the comments below…
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