The Magic really are getting nervous about the future of Dwight Howard. And with good reason.
Howard, the franchise center and two-time defending Defensive Player of the Year, can become a free agent in the summer of 2012, leading to speculation that he could be headed elsewhere when that day comes.
He said Tuesday that he is getting annoyed at all the talk about his future, but he failed to silence any of it when he offered no words of encouragement for the Magic.
"I can't sign a contract this year. I can't sign anything this summer (because of the pending lockout), so why keep bringing it up," Howard said. "There is no need to talk about what might happen in the future. We can't go into the future now."
Although he has not talked publically about his future plans, there has been considerable speculation that he may opt to play for the Lakers or Knicks, moving into a bigger market to help his off-the-court business ventures.
Howard has two years remaining on his contract, paying him $17.8 million and $19.2 million. He can opt out of his final year, much like Carmelo Anthony is expected to do this season in Denver, leading to the season-long speculation.
"Right now is about this season. It's not about LA or New York, or wherever. I'm really tired of all this (talk). I don't want to be talking about where I might be playing next," he said. "I never said anything about leaving. I never said anything about me not being happy here."
Yet Howard, when given the chance, never has said he wants to re-sign with the Magic.
Howard has been with the Magic since they made him the No. 1 pick of the 2004 Draft.
MAGIC 101, CLIPPERS 85: Dwight Howard had 22 points and 20 rebounds, overpowering both highly-touted Blake Griffin and the hapless Clippers. The Magic got double-figure scoring from six players. Although they struggled with 11 turnovers in the first half, they found their rhythm after intermission. Jameer Nelson had 17 points and Ryan Anderson 12. The Magic led by as many as 19 points. Griffin managed just 10 points and 12 rebounds.
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