. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Dwight Howard has asked the Orlando Magic to trade him twice in the last several days, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, citing a conversation he had with Otis Smith, the team's President of Basketball Operations.
"We wouldn’t be who we are if we don’t take a look around all 29 teams and try to make the best deal for the Orlando Magic," Smith said, according to Robbins' report.
Early Saturday morning, Smith confirmed to multiple media outlets he had given Howard's agent--but not Howard himself--permission to discuss potential trades with the Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey Nets, and Dallas Mavericks. It's assumed that Howard would sign long-term with any of those teams, but Smith won't rule out trading him elsewhere."He can have his list of teams that he would like to go to, and we’ve probably got a few on our list of teams that we would like," Smith told the Sentinel.
As a player eligible for free agency in the summer of 2012, Howard holds leverage in trade discussions because he can inform teams he would not re-sign with them, which would in turn make those teams either rescind their trade offers or drastically scale them down, so as to not mortgage their best trade assets for a 66-game rental of Howard, the league's best center and arguably its best player.