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Magic won't pursue Dwight Howard in free agency, according to report

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Orlando will make no attempt to sign Howard, the franchise's all-time leading scorer, rebounder, and shot-blocker, when free agency begins in July.

Dwight Howard and J.J. Hickson
Dwight Howard and J.J. Hickson
USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic have no plans to pursue Dwight Howard when Howard becomes a free agent in July, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, citing "an NBA source with knowledge of the Magic’s thinking." According to Robbins, Magic brass believes it too soon for a reunion between Howard and the team which selected him first overall in the 2004 NBA Draft.

To sign Howard to the maximum contract he will certainly command on the free-agent market, the Magic would need to clear salary-cap space to complete a sign-and-trade agreement. They have no interest in such a move.

There is, of course, the obvious issue that Howard has no interest in the Magic, as he illustrated in his final year with the team.

Howard requested a trade from the Magic in December 2011, but the Magic declined to accommodate him. In March, he waived the clause in his contract which would have enabled him to become a free agent in July, only to reiterate his trade request when the season ended.

Robbins recalls a meeting Howard and his representatives had with newly hired Magic general manager Rob Hennigan and assistant GM Scott Perry in July, less than a month before Orlando dealt him to the Los Angeles Lakers. Hennigan called the meeting to help build a relationship with Howard, but "Howard responded that he had no desire to build a relationship with them because he still wanted a trade," Robbins says.

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