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Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

Posted on: June 14, 2011 5:37 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2011 5:44 pm
Posted by Royce Young

Dwight Howard has never hinted at leaving the Orlando Magic. In fact, everything he's said has leaned toward the opposite. He's said he loves Orlando, wants to stay if possible and doesn't anticipate leaving.

But he's still becoming a free agent.


Dwight Howard reaffirmed his desire to stay with the Magic, but told on Monday that he will definitely become a free agent rather than sign an extension in the next year and also left open the possibility he would reconsider his future in Orlando if the team does not win the title next season.

Speaking during a break at the adidas Eurocamp as part of a tour of the continent for the shoe company, Howard joked with reporters at a news conference and appeared in good spirits.

In a one-on-one interview afterward, though, he made it clear he is not happy with the collective personality of Orlando's roster and that changes need to be made. The same message, he said, was delivered to owner Rich DeVos and CEO Bob Vander Weide in a meeting last week that included Howard sharing thoughts on everything from personnel to fan involvement and arena atmosphere at home games.

"I want to win a championship," the All-Star center said. "I think the owners have to really know that. That's been my goal and my mission since I've been in the NBA -- to win a championship. I don't have side goals or agendas. My main goal is to win a championship. I want to have 14 other guys who feel the same way."

Asked if the Magic have that now, he said, "It's off and on. Sometimes guys are there whole-heartedly and then sometimes I've had teammates allow people getting in their ears and things like that effect the way that they play and approach the game."
The Magic have had a two-year extension on the table for Howard for some time, but he's obviously not touching it. Two years is the longest deal the Magic can offer under the current Collecitve Bargaining Agreement. Of course that expires June 30 though. A report a couple weeks ago said that Howard was working on the two-year extension. Doesn't look like that's happening.

 Howard once again reiterated though that he wants to stay in Orlando.

"There's no other place I'd rather be besides Orlando," he said. "As of right now, that's my home. I just want to stay in Orlando as long as I can.

"That's the truth. I don't have to keep things calm or anything. This is how I really feel in my heart. A lot of people want to see me go other places, but I want to stay in Orlando. I have a beautiful home there. There are beautiful people down there. My son is in Orlando. He's getting a lot older and I want to be there to see as many moments as I can of his life."

He was then asked if the roster doesn't change or if the Magic don't compete for a title next year.

"Then things have to change," he said.

Does that mean moving?

"At the end of the day, as far as what I want to accomplish as a basketball player, to be one of the greats, you have to win championships," he said. "That's how I see it. I want to do that in Orlando, and hopefully we can get it done.... Everybody's asking me from the beginning of the season until today where am I playing in a year? Am I getting traded? I have no clue. As of right now, I want to be in Orlando."

It really sounds like Howard is speaking honestly, but we've all been through this rodeo before. We've heard players say this and do something different. General manager Otis Smith has definitely tried his best making a number of bold moves to get Orlando over the top. They haven't worked out as of yet, as the Magic have made it to one NBA Finals, getting swept by the Lakers.

Just because Howard wants to be a free agent doesn't mean he's leaving. It's that he wants a sense of what's next and as they say, wants to keep his options open.
Category: NBA

Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: June 15, 2011 5:05 am

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

Bynum + Odum or Bynum and any 2 players on the Bench for Dwight Howard.  Lakers MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: June 15, 2011 3:12 am

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent needs to contract you so you can no longer waste the bandwidth you do so love to waste

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: June 15, 2011 2:28 am

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

Fill in the blank. Howard is gone if he can fin d a contender. Would love for Portland to make a play for him but doubtful he would want to come to Portland. Portland has the assets to get a deal done. Just don't take Turkeygoo as a throw in. That wa sthe best thing that could have happened Turkeygoo backing out of the deal and going to Toronto.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: June 15, 2011 12:35 am

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

If he wants the chance to leave Orlando after next season if the Magic tank again then he will sign a one year contract for probably $30 million. He should sign with the Warriors. No one gave the Mavericks a chance except for me (not directly, because I had criticized Cuban's moves as owner. But I did say "look, after I post this he will probably prove me wrong and the Mavericks will win the title this year. Check my previous posts if you think I'm lying.)

On bleacher report they had Howard going to the Lakers or the Heat.....the Heat? What? Is that a joke? Why would Howard want to play wth the Three Stooges? Granted Dwayne Wade is a great player and did not quit in the Finals...unlike his two overpaid and overhyped buddies, but if Howard joins the Heat then Bosh has got to go. I also read on bleacher report that Allen Iverson should sign with the Heat. Interesting story, but the reason why the Mavericks were able to defeat the Heat is because the Mavs had a team that was deeper than 3 top stars. They actually had a decent bench. Brian Cardinal outhustled most of the Heat's starters.....that's really sad on the Heat's part.
The Heat will be very lucky if they make the playoffs next year.

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: June 15, 2011 12:00 am

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

A 24-team NBA league ... with the eliminated teams/cities relegated to the NBDL would strengthen both leagues.

Since: May 24, 2010
Posted on: June 14, 2011 11:59 pm

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

He just might end up being traded for James.
Ever think of that scenario?

Honestly think the Magic are going to trade the best center in the league to their biggest rival? And you think that Pat Riley is going to trade the best player in the NBA? Try to look at things objectively instead of just drawing up fantasy situations about your favorite team. Orlando is going to do its best to trade Howard to the West, and the Lakers are going to do their best to make the best offer. I can't believe the Heat fans are already giving up on LeBron, the city of Cleveland laughs at you (thats when you know your in trouble).

Since: Feb 13, 2010
Posted on: June 14, 2011 11:55 pm

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

The NBA just needs to contract these joke cities that have teams: Orlando, Charlotte, OKC, NO, Indy, Detroit.  Minnesota too.  Not one of these cities deserves a team.

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: June 14, 2011 11:49 pm

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

As much as I like reading Ken Berger ... I simply CANNOT take a full season of Carmelo Anthony-type twist and turn articles about Dwight Howard. 

It is just not that important.

Since: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: June 14, 2011 11:41 pm

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

also left open the possibility he would reconsider his future in Orlando if the team does not win the title next season.
TRADE HIM NOW. This roster is ruined. They are WAY over the cap, and pretty much every contract on the team is untradable except for Howard himself. The trades they made this past season crippled them even further. They have zero chance of winning a championship until at least 2014/15 when Agent Negative 22 Million comes off of the books. What in the world was that FO thinking trading Rashard Lewis's bad contract for the worst contract in the league? If Howard wants to win now, it can't/won't happen in Orlando.

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: June 14, 2011 11:32 pm

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

Who cares??

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