Though the Orlando Magic continue to explore their options with regard to trading Dwight Howard, Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD reports the team probaby won't deal the six-time All-Star to another club before Thursday's NBA trade deadline. "Ownership isn't ready to move him," Kennedy says.
Alex Martins, who took over for Bob Vander Weide as Magic CEO in December, told the Orlando Sentinel on Sunday that the team has yet to decide whether or not to trade Howard. "Who will make the final call for the Magic on any deal, Alex Martins or Otis Smith?" Sentinel scribe Josh Robbins asked his Twitter followers Friday. Though Smith is the team's President of Basketball Operations, Martins oversees him, and answers to team owner Rich DeVos.
As Net Income of Nets Daily, SB Nation's New Jersey Nets blog, notes, reports in recent days indicating the Magic have discussed Howard trades with the Chicago Bulls and Golden State Warriors could suggest the team is making a final round of calls throughout the league to gauge what they might be able to net if they dealt Howard, who requested a trade to the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, or Nets during training camp.
Howard can become a free agent this summer and could leave the Magic for any team with the cap space to sign him; New Jersey and Dallas figure to be among those teams, so retaining him beyond Thursday's 3 PM deadline carries a great deal of risk. DeVos and the Magic have already seen one center walk via free agency during the prime of his career; one wonders what bearing, if any, the team's history with Shaquille O'Neal will have on its final course of action with Howard.