In an interview with Sam Gardner of FOX Sports Florida, Otis Smith, the Orlando Magic's President of Basketball Operations, said "I don't think anything has changed" regarding star center Dwight Howard's desire to be traded. "Nothing has changed on his end, nothing has changed on my end at this point."
Those words seem to indicate Howard's preference is to leave the Magic, and that the New Jersey Nets are his top choice.
"You just have to do the best you can to get a deal if that's your choice," Smith said. "We haven't gotten to the point to where we're dealing, so I guess at this point I'm up against the (March) 15 deadline to figure out if we're going to hold on to him or move him."
Gardner contends leaving Orlando for the Brooklyn-bound Nets would be a foolish choice for Howard, as he believes Orlando's roster is better overall than the Nets', though they do boast All-Star point guard Deron Williams, a close friend of Howard's. "As the Magic pummeled the 10-25 Nets on nearly every trip down the floor Wednesday night," Gardner writes, "you had to wonder whether Howard [...] could really help Williams transform this otherwise disappointing cast of characters into the best team in basketball."
Howard can become a free agent this summer and could sign with the Nets outright, so keeping him past the March 15 trading deadline would be risky for Smith and the Magic.