Dwight Howard told media on Monday that he was still open to the possibility of staying in Orlando, if "changes" were made to improve the team. From the Orlando Sentinel:
Said Howard, "As of right now, I have on a Magic uniform. Right? So I'm with nobody else, and that's the only thing that matters. And if it's meant for me to stay here, then I'll stay. And I love this city. There's no place I'd rather be but here in Orlando. And I just want to make sure that we have the right things here so we can win a championship.via Orlando Magic: Dwight Howard hints he might stay with Magic - OrlandoSentinel.com.
"And I'm all about change. If you're willing to change and you're willing to do what it takes to win, then, you know, you've got me. And if you're not willing to do what it takes to win, I don't think anybody here would question anybody's motives if you want to stay in the same position you are."
ESPN.com reports that one of those changes is to bring in Chauncey Billups once he clears the amnesty waiver process. Because clearly, that's the kind of move that will put the Magic over the top. Howard has listed wanting input over the direction of the franchise as his biggest reason for wanting out. This despite his reticence at moves like trading Rashard Lewis and amnestying Gilbert Arenas. Essentially, Dwight Howard wants more control to run the franchise badly, which would only serve to make the team worse and drive him out of Orlando.
Meanwhile, the Nets are reportedly considering making an amnesty offer to Billups the same day. Their efforts to bring in Howard have been nothing if not consistent.
Howard's discussions of staying are a bit cruel, in a way. No one has believed Howard would stay in Orlando, not for two years. He's had every opportunity to say so and he's declined every time, instead leaning on the "I just want to win a title" talk which is code for "Don't blame me, blame the GM."
Now, by wanting Billups he's basically giving Jameer Nelson a vote of no confidence, if reports are accurate. That's the kind of thing that hurts chemistry, especially when Nelson has stuck up for Howard so many times. But this is all part of Howard and his management's plan to ease their way out. You say the things you can to put the onus on the team so when the time comes, people have somewhere else to drive their anger, which keeps the most public support you can. It's all part of the playbook, and Howard's filling it out nicely.