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Dwight Howard Rumors: "Everyone Realizes He's Gone" from Orlando Magic, According to Report

Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Eight days have passed since the Indiana Pacers eliminated the Orlando Magic in the first round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, but Orlando has yet to announce any decision on the futures of head coach Stan Van Gundy or Otis Smith, the team's President of Basketball Operations. Though he offers no explanation for the delay, Chad Ford of said in a chat Wednesday, "I think you'll see them let go GM Otis Smith and head coach Stan Van Gundy in the next few days." Regarding the fate of superstar center Dwight Howard, Ford says, "I think everyone realizes he's gone sooner or later and the focus will be on how to best rebuild the team."

Van Gundy and Smith, whose contracts run through the 2012/13 season, have already commented publicly about their desires: Van Gundy wants to return to Orlando, while Smith was noncommittal. Magic ownership has said it would wait a few days to "decompress" before making a choice on Van Gundy and Smith.

Howard's contract also runs through 2012/13, and Smith said the eight-year veteran has not re-requested a trade. Howard asked to be dealt to the New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks, or Los Angeles Lakers during training camp, but appears to have backed off that request.

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