Dwight Howard is not playing nice with the Magic.
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A few weeks ago it looked like the drama that is Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic was coming to an end, but here we are with Howard still on a team he no longer wants to be on. The Magic want Howard to give the new management a chance but he wants a trade and wants one now. There is one problem though, there are no teams that for one want to have Howard for one season only to see him leave or a team with assets worthy of him.
The Houston Rockets were pushing hard for Howard going into the draft. Howard’s management even warned the team that if he were traded to Houston he would leave as a free agent next summer. Still the Rockets pursued Howard feeling that their legacy and how they would perform as a team with him would sway his decision to leave in 2013. The Magic were not offered a package of players that fit what they wanted.
Then came along the Brooklyn Nets, the team which Howard wants to ultimately end up with. The Magic were offered a deal that would involve the Nets and 2 other teams that would send the Magic Center Brook Lopez and a handful of other players. That deal was never accepted by the Magic and the Nets spent big money on Daron Williams and Lopez signed a contract extension with the team. The extension makes Lopez untradable until January. So the Magic will have to wait if they do in fact want Lopez. Lopez would be the only star player the Nets could include in a trade that would be a good deal for the Magic.
The Lakers are the latest team to be in talks with the Magic for Howard. The Lakers already traded away 2 future 1st round draft picks so that is off the table in a possible deal. The star player that could be involved in a deal between the Magic and Lakers would be Andrew Bynum. The problem with that scenario is two fold. The first problem is that Bynum is a free agent in 2013 and would have to sign if the Magic would acquire him and he has shown strong interest in being a free agent next year. The second issue is the Magic also want to unload a lot of their team and clean out some cap space. The Lakers cannot help them there. So the Magic stand with a player that is not looking to be going anywhere soon.
The Magic have been getting the rough end of this Howard situation. They are not finding any great deals but at the same time can’t afford for him to leave as a free agent and get nothing for him. Howard is really being tough with the team. The team has new management and is wanting to work something out with Howard. Howard does need to go but for the right price. The Magic should wait this out a little longer until they get a deal they can live with. The team will be set back many years if they don’t get players of value for Howard. This is a bad situation and a bad summer for the team and things don’t look to be getting better anytime soon.
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Ex Orland Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy
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The Stan Van Gundy era came to an end in Orlando on Monday when the Orlando Magic fired their coach. The firing has to be both a blessing and a curse for Van Gundy. He doesn’t have a job but at the same time he no longer has to deal with Dwight Howard drama. Van Gundy and the Magic’s star center Dwight Howard have been feuding all year both behind the scenes and in front of the media. Their were rumors that Howard was calling for Van Gundy’s firing by the middle of this past season. Even though Magic front office staff had confirmed those rumors, Howard has repeatedly denied such allegations. Well Monday it came to pass and Van Gundy was gone, whether it was due to the pressure Howard put on the Magic is hard to say.
Stan Van Gundy came to the Magic in 2007. He was essentially a back up plan when the Florida Gators head coach signed with the Orlando Magic and then 5 days later quit and went back to the Gators. There have been a lot of ups and downs for the team during Van Gundy’s tenure. Van Gundy leaves the Magic with a 259-135 record and a 31-28 record in the playoffs. He was with the team for a total of 5 seasons. The Magic made it all the way to the NBA Finals in 2009, only to fall victim quickly to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Magic also made an Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 2010 losing the series 4-2 to the Boston Celtics.
The timing is very strange to me though, with the NBA Draft is coming up next month. The Magic need to find their new head coach and they need to find him soon. It is imperative to have a new coach in time to have him on board for the draft and helping the team set for in a new and hopefully successful direction.
This next season will be a very interesting and probably very stressful on for the Orland Magic. Dwight Howard’s contract is up at the end of the season. The Magic will definitely want to either sign Howard or trade him away. The Magic almost traded Howard this past season when it was unclear whether he would accept his team option for another season to close out his contract. The Magic have never forgotten the situation Shaq put them in after the 1996 season. Shaq left the team for The Lakers and the Magic got nothing in return due to the fact Shaq was a free agent.
Howard is a fantastic player and has potential to be an NBA Finals MVP. Howard will however need to tone down the drama that plagued last season in order for that to be possible. He would need to make a decision and resign or have the team deal him away way before the trade deadline if he wants to contend for the NBA Championship this season. One has to hope that with Van Gundy gone Howard can focus more on the court and lead the Magic the way he has shown himself capable of doing.
So will we see Dwight Howards final game with the Magic this year or the continuation of the good career he has had with the Magic. Is a championship in the Magic’s future? I think Dwight Howard’s season and decision has a lot to do with the answer to that question.
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