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NBA.com reports that Dwight Howard will not sign an extension with Orlando

June 13, 2011

Can these men keep Dwight Howard in Orlando?

In an article posted by Scott Howard-Cooper this morning on NBA.com, Howard-Copper reports that Dwight Howard told NBA.com that “he will definitely become a free agent rather than sign an extension in the next year”.  While I wouldn’t call this devastating news, it definitely throws a kink into the plans of Magic fans that were still hoping he would sign a short-term extension prior to June 30th and the end of the current CBA.

So when Dwight is eligible to become a free agent after the end of next season, he would then exercise his Early Termination Option (ETO) to become an unrestricted free agent.  The Magic would then be bidding for his talents just as every other team in the NBA will be.

Does this mean Dwight is leaving Orlando? No.  Let me be crystal clear on this… N O.

Dwight was quoted in the same article as saying,

“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.”

There is nothing new in that quote that Dwight hasn’t been repeating reguarly over the last year or two when asked that same question.

The article goes on to tell of a meeting that Dwight had with team management, specifically Rich DeVos and Bob Vander Weide that touched on everything from personnel to the game atmosphere at home games.  It’s also interesting that this meeting was seemingly without Otis Smith, who has undoubtedly made some personnel changes that haven’t quite worked out as planned.

With Dwight coming out for the first time (assuming there was nothing taken out of context by the reporter) and saying that he will not sign an extension, the natural reaction for Magic fans will be one of worry. Every opportunity that Dwight has to commit and does not, will leave fans with an extra spell of anxiety.  Blame LeBron.  That guy has been getting a pass lately anyways.

So here we sit with the latest news in a while that actually relates to whether he stays or goes. And even with that, it says nothing new.  Dwight won’t be signing an extension in the next few weeks and that should come as no surprise to anyone.  He wants to see changes and is doing the right thing by doing so.  Not only for himself, but also for the Orlando Magic franchise.  Remember, right now, Dwight has the leverage. 

That leverage forces  the Magic leadership to be motivated and incentivized to make positive things happen. Let’s just hope that they realize the challenge in front of them and act accordingly. The clock is ticking.

Random Tidbits: Bodog.com has set their opening odds for the 2012 NBA Champs and currently have listed as having the 8th best shot at 22/1…… With the Dallas Mavericks winning it all last night, former Magic guard and current Dallas Assistant Coach Darrell Armstrong will finally get a championship ring…… Orlando Magic President Alex Martins was recently named as the Outstanding Business Professional of the Year by the Rotary Club of Orlando.

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