The Orlando Magic can't seem to fully shake themselves of former star Dwight Howard.
Four years after his departure from the Magic in a blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Lakers, Howard could be looking to return to his old stomping grounds. A report surfaced in March claiming that Howard had interest in returning to the team that drafted him 12 years ago this summer.
Future reports detailed that the Magic would not entertain a Howard return this summer.
Yet again, as the Houston Rockets, Howard's current team, got set to take on the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of their first round series, another report linking Howard and the Magic has surfaced.
According to ESPN's Calvin Watkins, the Magic, along with the Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers, are the favorites to land Howard's services this summer.
As Watkins writes, Howard is almost certainly not going to return to Houston, due to his poor relationship with James Harden, and ownership and the front offices standing favoring Harden moving forward.
The Rockets will have a comprehensive list of coaches to view whenever the season ends. Bickerstaff, who remains in good standing with management, will be part of that conversation. Alexander and Morey believe that Harden will play a role in helping to hire a coach and potentially sign free agents.
Howard is not expected to have a role. It's expected that he will become a free agent and seek a new team. Orlando, Milwaukee, Portland and Charlotte are the favorites.
The rift between Howard and Harden isn't news. The two have consistently fought throughout the season, and reportedly tried to get the other traded at one point since Howard joined the team three-years ago.
As I previously wrote when the initial reports that Howard had interest in returning popped up, the Magic need to, at the very least, consider reuniting with Howard.
There are many potential road blocks the two sides would need to fight through to get a deal done, but the Magic are ultimately in a position where they would be hard pressed to say no to someone who can come in and help make them better.
The likely hood that Howard returns to Orlando is ultimately very slim, but there's still a chance, and despite the reports and rumblings the Magic won't even entertain the idea, they'd be hard pressed not to at least talk with the former franchise cornerstone.