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Citing a "person directly involved in the organization's planning," Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports Dwight Howard has not told the Orlando Magic whether he'd like to stay with them long term, leave via trade, or explore free agency in the summer of 2012. The Magic would like to have a decision from him soon so they can plan their strategy for the years ahead. From Berger's report:
"Don't drag us out," the person said. "Tell us what you want, so we can react with facts, not theories and guesses."
Perhaps in light of Howard's silence on that crucial subject, the Magic have yet to engage in any trade discussions for him. Ric Bucher of ESPN reports, via Twitter, Magic President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith "has yet to present wish list for DH12 to a single suitor," citing one executive from "a team looking to make a bid."
Uncertainty over Howard's future in Orlando looms large as the team enters its 23rd season, in which it will host its second All-Star Game. Obviously, the team would prefer to retain Howard long-term, but if it cannot convince him to stay, it will likely look to trade him in order to avoid losing him for nothing in free agency. As you'll no doubt be reminded numerous times over the next several months, the last time the Magic had a Hall-of-Fame center hit free agency, it didn't go well.