The AJC's Michael Cunningham has been reporting since last night that the Hawks and the Magic are talking again about Dwight Howard. To me, it seems that this is the best case scenario for the Magic. First of all, both the Magic and Hawks prevent the Nets from being a dominant Eastern Conference team for years to come along with the Heat. We could have a deal where Al Horford comes to Orlando (having been up here in ATL for the last several years, I can say he's a real talent) and Dwight Howard goes back to his hometown and gets his close friend Josh Smith on his team.
The long term implications for both teams work well here. Danny Ferry is gutting the Hawks to have huge cap space to rebuild the team from the ground up. If Dwight stays the season and then bolts, they aren't on the hook for his salary and the team continues to rebuild. The stories the past day say that the Nets have built up such a big payroll that they won't even be able to offer Dwight a max deal if he were to sign next offseason. So, that causes issues with whether he actually goes there even as a free agent. Dwight could opt to stay with the Hawks and build a contender or go elsewhere.
As for the Magic, if they get a package that includes Horford, they get a guy who is an all-star and is worth the money so-to-speak, unlike what seems to be a consensus of overpaying Brook Lopez. The Magic end up in a rebuild/compete faze. They put out a decent product, maybe a Heart and Hustle 2.0 and rebuild, but don't have to go the scorched earth route.
Who knows? The one thing that most can agree on is that Dwight Howard has shown himself to be a petulant child and secondly, the Nets deal seems pretty lousy. Late round draft picks and Brook Lopez. It would seem to be better to just let Howard walk and not have Lopez's contract on the books, but that would entail dealing with the Howard situation all season, which the Magic won't do.