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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 12, 2008
Posted on: June 14, 2011 11:11 pm

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

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

Since: Sep 10, 2007
Posted on: June 14, 2011 10:41 pm

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

haha @jim F13, what on earth could the Heat possibly give the magic for Dwight Howard?? a bag of peanuts and mike bibby? unless they trade james or wade, they are not getting howard.

Since: Apr 2, 2011
Posted on: June 14, 2011 10:10 pm

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

Yea.  Maybe they can get Durant too.  While they're at it, why not lure D Rose and Stoudamire?  They already get Bosch Wade and James and still found a way to choke.

Since: Dec 2, 2010
Posted on: June 14, 2011 9:19 pm

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

Dwight will end up in LA or NY or Chicago and the league will have 2-3 super teams.  This is great for rivalries but the rest of the league and the NBA in general  I think this will effectively eliminate 9 interest in 90 percent of the league.

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: June 14, 2011 9:12 pm

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

Orlando is crazy if they don't trade him. If they don't they go the route of Toronto and Cleveland. Get a list from Howard then approach 4-5 teams he would sign with and get them to make their best offer. Chicago, Miami, LA will likely have the best packages. The Nets would be an intriguing choice though but not sure they have enough assets remaining to land Howard.

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: June 14, 2011 8:54 pm

Dwight to the Heat!

With dwight, lebron and dwayne, the Heat will be unbeatable---go ahead and mark them down for 5-6 titles.

Since: Oct 15, 2008
Posted on: June 14, 2011 8:48 pm

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

The Magic were NOT swept by the Lakers..I was at the game they won......They were swept by the Rockets...just a fyi...

Since: Nov 25, 2007
Posted on: June 14, 2011 8:46 pm

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

What has become obvious since mid-season, when the Magic went backwards with trades that brought uncontrollable and unreliable Gilbert Arenas and a cast of mediocre players, is that general manager Otis Smith has to be replaced. A fresh face to lead a fresh competitive direction for the Magic is the only hope the Magic have to convince Dwight the team has real chance at a championship is the only option to keep Dwiight Howard.
   Smith sealed his fate by acquiring Arenas, who promptly disappeared for most of the last four months. And now his $19 million a year contract restricts the Magic's options. 

Since: Feb 13, 2009
Posted on: June 14, 2011 8:42 pm

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

I agree with   on most poins.
Although in my opinion The 2009 finals rather looked competetive than were competetive.
There was little doubt that Lakers would ultimately win - just look at the game 1 where Pau completely covered Howard who managed only 1 FG.
And since LA mostly plays the score - i.e. they play better when they need - they let Magic in a couple of times.
Nevertheless they did have a decent run with Dwight.
Imagine just on thing though - Howard goes to Chicago. They trade Boozer for some decent shooting guards and a good backup PG.
What does it mean? - Dynasty and Domination.
I am totally for loyalty and small market teams.
However Heat with LeBron and DWade never winning the title - priceless!!!

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: June 14, 2011 8:22 pm

Dwight Howard says he'll become a free agent

He's either positioning for a big payday, or he's positioning to do a LeBron type move and go somewhere.  Destinations?  NY or Chicago look like prime candidates.

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