Dwight Howard recently spoke with Yahoo! and put a ton of pressure on the Orlando Magic to trade him to probably only the Nets this season. Here’s the quote: “There’s only one team on my list and if I don’t get traded there, I’ll play the season out [with the Orlando Magic] and explore my free agency after that.” Howard says that he will only play for the Orlando Magic or one other team (almost definitely the Nets) next season. If the Magic do not trade him to the one team Howard wants to play for, Howard will enter free agency next summer and surely go to another team.
The Magic front office absolutely cannot let Howard leave Orlando in free agency and receive nothing in return for losing him. This quote is a big deal – it is a demand to be traded – and it is what Nets fans have been waiting for from Dwight Howard. We’ll have more on what this quote means soon.
Howard also denied that he ever accused the Magic of blackmailing him. “I never used the word blackmail in reference to any of my dealings with the Magic. I never said that. It’s defamatory and it’s inaccurate. I know what blackmail means and any report that I used the term incorrectly is inaccurate.” It was reported that Dwight Howard would pursue legal action to nullify his contract with the Magic: Howard was accusing Orlando of blackmailing him into signing an opt in clause. The above quote seems to mean that Howard will not pursue legal action against the Magic.
Here are a couple of other quotes:
- This was not the first time [that I asked for trade]. I communicated this to [Magic president] Alex [Martins] and [former general manager] Otis [Smith] way before Friday that I wanted to be traded – months before this meeting with Rob Hennigan. That was all way before Stan [Van Gundy] got fired.
- I have the utmost respect for the Magic organization, for the people of Orlando.